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World Cup quarters: Tight race in Group B for last three spots

Tuesday March 15, 2011 11:01:54 PM, IANS

New Delhi: South Africa's win over Ireland at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata Tuesday and England's string of shocking defeats have made it a tight race for last three spots from Group B for the knockout stage of the World Cup.

South Africa became the first team from Group B to qualify for the quarters, leaving England, India, the West Indies and Bangladesh jostling for the last three berths with just a handful of games left before the knockout stage.

England's progress to the last eight looked assured but Bangladesh stunned Andrew Strauss' men to open up Group B.

England may miss a ticket to the knockout round if they lose to the West Indies in their next match. But if they beat the West Indies, they may still make the quarters as they would finish with seven points. But England could still make a first round exit if Bangladesh beat South Africa.

If Bangladesh beat South Africa, both will be through with 8 points. In that case, if the West Indies lose to India, India and England go through and the West Indies go out.

But if India lose to West Indies, the Caribbean team will finish with eight as well - leaving England and India on seven and it would come down to the net run-rate and the team with the lowest goes out.

And if the West Indies-India match ends in a tie, India will go through on eight - and England and the West Indies would have to compare run-rates.

As of now, the West Indies have the best run rate of +2.206, followed by South Africa (+1.606), India (+0.768) and England (+0.013).

From Group A, all the top teams - Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have qualified for the knockout stage.

Group B standings:
Teams M W L T N/R Pts Net RR
South Africa 5 4 1 0 0 8 +1.606
India 5 3 1 1 0 7 +0.768
West Indies 4 3 1 0 0 6 +2.206
Bangladesh 5 3 2 0 0 6 -0.765
England 5 2 2 1 0 5 +0.013
Ireland 5 1 4 0 0 2 -0.881
Netherlands 5 0 5 0 0 0 -2.386





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