The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 has suddenly become a delight for all neutral cricket lovers, with every match to be played now a virtual knockout game. Only England from among the eight teams in the fray are assured a berth in the semi-finals, while all the other teams are struggling with rain interruptions and massive upsets as they try to keep their campaigns alive. Such is the state of affairs that defending champions India, the world's No. 1 ODI team, South Africa and the outside favourites Australia are all faced with elimination.
The matches left and the team positions:
New Zealand (1 point from 2 matches; Net run-rate -1.74) vs Bangladesh (1 point from 2 matches; NRR -0.40), Cardiff, June 9: If they play out a game that gets a win or loss result, one side will go to 3 points. That leaves them with a chance to qualify.
England (4 points from 2 matches; NRR 1.06) vs Australia (2 points from 2 matches; NRR 0.00), Edgbaston, June 10: Australia have to win this and go to 4 points. It's as simple as that. If there is a tie or a no-result, then they will go to 3 points like New Zealand and Bangladesh and it all boils down to run-rate.
India (2 points from 2 matches; NRR 1.27) vs South Africa (2 points from 2 matches; NRR 1.00), The Oval, London, June 11: One of these two teams will qualify if there is a result. A tie or no-result would leave them with one point apiece and then they'll have to wait for the result of other matches to decide which side goes through.
Sri Lanka (2 points from 2 matches; NRR -0.87) vs Pakistan (2 points from 2 matches; NRR -1.54), Cardiff, June 12: These two teams have clawed back into contention with massive wins over India and South Africa respectively, and now have are on equal footing with the bigger sides. A win here will be perfect for either to make it to the semi-finals. However, a tie or a no-result will leave the calculations to the points table and run-rate.