Everybody now knows that net run rate is almost certain to be a huge factor in Group 1 of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, but with two must-win rounds of the tournament left it’s too early to focus on only that.
England and Australia’s washout in Melbourne has left both teams on three points and with all six teams in Group 1 still able to qualify.
Results are still the most important thing, with all teams knowing they will need to win each of their remaining two games to qualify for the next round. But one eye will have to be kept on the issue of the net run rate.
The net run rate situation
Of the teams who have played three games in Group 1, it is England who have the superior NRR. But margins are small.
The loss to Ireland and a tentative chase against Afghanistan has left England with a lower run rate than they would have hoped for at this stage.
Two no-result games have left Afghanistan behind on points but still in with an outside chance of qualifying if results go their way. A big win is needed though.
With fixtures against Australia and New Zealand to come, Ireland face a tricky task to reach the semi-finals. And they’ll probably need a decent margin of victory in one of those games to overturn the damage of the nine-wicket loss to Sri Lanka
The hammering by New Zealand dented Australia’s NRR right from the off, but Marcus Stoinis’ flurry against Sri Lanka improved it a little.
England’s qualification equation
This is a position neither side wanted to be in, with England arriving at this point thanks partly to two games being impacted by rain.
“Unfortunately we’ve had two games affected by weather,” England captain Jos Buttler said after the points were shared against Australia following the shock loss to Ireland on DLS Method.
“You don’t want to be involved in those games, but it’s going to happen wherever you play, you’re generally going to be affected by some weather at some point.”
It was put to Buttler in his post-match media conference that the team’s next match against New Zealand is now effectively a World Cup Final for the English.
“We’d do well to live up to that one, wouldn’t it?” Buttler said, referring back to England’s 2019 triumph over New Zealand at Lord’s.
“For us, we knew, having lost the game against Ireland, the way the format is anyway, every game is pretty much a must-win.”
If England beat New Zealand in that “must-win” game, they will have the advantage of playing last in the final round of matches, meaning they will know exactly what they need in terms of net run rate to qualify.
“It could be a small advantage, but to make use of that, of course, we need to win the game against New Zealand,” Buttler said, keen not to look too far ahead.
“We’ll travel up to Brisbane, everyone’s rested and ready to go. There’s a lot of frustration as well from the last game. People want to right that performance. So we’ll train well and look forward to a tough challenge against New Zealand.”
Australia look for big wins
Australia’s task is simple: win twice and win big.
Two large margins of victory against the two lowest-ranked teams in the group, Ireland and Afghanistan, could be enough in themselves to send Australia through.
But that fact won’t impact player selection, according to coach Andrew McDonald.
“Net run rate is going to come into it,” he said. “We knew that at the start of the tournament.
“When you only play five games, net run rate can decide and influence who goes through into the final four,” McDonald continued. “We feel as though we’ve been here before.
“I don’t think it will shift team selection too much. We’ve picked a pretty powerful batting line-up, and we’ve got bowlers that we think in certain conditions against certain opposition can do the job. So we feel as though we’re pretty well covered for the options we have.”
Even if Australia win their two remaining games heavily, that may not be enough given England and Sri Lanka play last in this group, handing them a potential advantage. But that scenario is some way off still.
“It depends on England and New Zealand really, doesn’t it?” McDonald said.
Afghanistan’s next match is on Tuesday, against Sri Lanka in Brisbane where they will be hoping for a resounding win after Friday’s disappointment – where the match against Ireland was abandoned due to rain.
For all the fun and excitement of this year’s T20 World Cup, fans in Afghanistan can tune in to Ariana TV to watch the matches live.
Click Here for the full broadcasting schedule
Pakistan to play three T20Is against Afghanistan in Sharjah next month
Pakistan will play a three-match T20 series against Afghanistan next month in a bid to compensate Afghanistan for the losses caused by the withdrawal of Cricket Australia from the ODI series against the side, the Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board Management Committee Najam Sethi said on Sunday.
“Pleased to announce PCB will play 3xT20s against Afghanistan in Sharjah end March to compensate Afghanistan following Australia’s pullout from bi lateral series against it,” he said on Twitter.
PCB head added that he also supported the Asian Cricket Council’s decision to grant Afghanistan an equal share of ACC revenues like the other top four member boards.
“I also supported ACC decision to grant Afghanistan equal share of ACC revenues like BCCI, PCB, SLC & BCB.” he remarked.
Last month Cricket Australia announced its decision to pull out of the scheduled three-match ODI series in March in response to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s restrictions on women.
ILT20 announces prize money pool for inaugural edition
The DP World International League T20 on Sunday announced a prize money pool of $1.3 million (USD), where the winning team will receive $700,000 and the runner-up team will receive $300,000 at the end of the final.
The first season of the DP World ILT20 is currently being held across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
Speaking about the prize money, Mubashshir Usmani, General Secretary, Emirates Cricket Board said: “The league is incredibly pleased to announce the prize money for the winning and runner-up teams of the DP World ILT20.
“We want the franchises and the players to compete intensely in winning these awards. The Season 1 of the DP World ILT20 will conclude on 12th February where the two finalist teams will contest to lift the Trophy and take the winner’s prize money. May the best team win.”
The ILT20 has witnessed several magnificent performances over the past three weeks and the competition is all set for its knockout stage.
The Desert Vipers, Gulf Giants and MI Emirates have booked their spots in the playoffs, while the Sharjah Warriors and Dubai Capitals are fighting for the final playoffs spot.
Desert Vipers have won seven matches from ten games; Gulf Giants and MI Emirates have won six and five games respectively in nine matches. The Vipers and Giants, who are in the top two spots on the points table, have confirmed a top-two finish in the league stage.
Desert Vipers’ Alex Hales has been the leading run scorer in the tournament so far with 465 runs and is the current Green Belt holder. Meanwhile, Gulf Giants’ Chris Jordan is the current White Belt holder with 14 wickets in the competition so far.
Alex Hales is leading the race to the Red Belt as he is currently the Most Valuable Player in the ILT20 with 184 points. MI Emirates’ Muhammad Waseem is in the driver’s seat for the Blue Belt (Most Valuable UAE Player) with 146.5 points in the competition so far.
Each of the Belt winners will receive $15,000 as prize money at the end of the season.
The Most Valuable Players are decided based on a unique point scoring system devised by the DP World ILT20. The players are given a certain number of points for their performance with bat, ball and on the field in every match.
The DP World ILT20 has been presenting five match awards namely; player of the match, DP World smart delivery of the day, Fairplay News biggest hit of the match, Skyexch.Net Super 4s of the match and Sportsbuzz 11 Buzzmaker of the match with every award winner receiving $1,500.
The tournament will also present season awards for DP World Smart Bowler, Fairplay News biggest hit, Skyexch.Net Super 4s and Sportsbuzz 11 Buzzmaker. Each of the award winners are set to receive $15,000 as cash prize following the final.
The Qualifier 1, Eliminator and Qualifier 2 will be played from 8 February 2023 to 10 February 2023, with the Final to be held at the Dubai International Stadium on 12 February 2023.
Gulf Giants defeat Desert Vipers, confirm a top-two finish
Gulf Giants beat Desert Vipers by 25 runs and secured a top-two finish through Shimron Hetmyer’s hard-hitting half-century in the 27th match of the DP World ILT20 at the Dubai International Stadium on Saturday.
Hetmyer, who was Gulf Giants’ hero in their previous match against MI Emirates through his last ball six, scored a stroke-filled 54 off 35 balls with four sixes and two boundaries.
He was backed by skipper James Vince’s 39 runs to help Gulf Giants post 180 for 6 in 20 overs.
Desert Vipers could muster only 155 for 6 against the tight Gulf Giants attack. Tom Curran tried hard to take his team to target through an unbeaten 42 off 33 balls with five boundaries and a six, but his efforts were not successful.
Desert Vipers won the toss and elected to bowl.
Speaking about their victory, Gulf Giants’ David Wiese said: “This was a big game for us as we wanted to confirm our place in the top two. Every single bowler has stood up when they have needed to in the tournament. Aayan Afzal Khan bowled beautifully today. The bowlers have been supporting each other nicely and everyone’s been doing the job.”
Also speaking after the match, Desert Vipers’ Tom Curran said: “Losing wickets in a cluster didn’t help us. I thought we could get to the target at one point in the game. It would have been a different story if I was batting with a recognised batter. I also thought that they got too many runs. It wasn’t a straightforward wicket. We probably got it a bit wrong with the ball and that can happen.”
Meanwhile, playoffs begin on 8 February at the Dubai International Stadium.
Cricket fans across Afghanistan can catch the LIVE telecast of this exciting cricket league on Ariana Television.
For the full broadcast schedule CLICK HERE
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