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T20 World Cup 2024: Can New Zealand still qualify for Super 8s?

Last updated on 13 Jun 2024 | 05:16 AM
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T20 World Cup 2024: Can New Zealand still qualify for Super 8s?

The Blackcaps can be officially out of the tournament even before they play their next game

Following their 13-run defeat against the West Indies on June 12 (Wednesday), New Zealand are all but knocked out of the 2024 T20 World Cup. The Blackcaps came into this encounter having lost to Afghanistan by 84 runs in Guyana, with their Net Run Rate also taking a major hit. 

Kane Williamson and Co. had no other option but to defeat the West Indies. Their NRR was also -4.200, so winning their remaining three fixtures was the only achievable option. However, it wasn’t meant to be as New Zealand once again fell short, while the West Indies confirmed their spot in the Super 8s.

Unlike in the game against Afghanistan, New Zealand got off to a superb start on a two-paced Tarouba surface. Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson reduced the hosts to 22/4 before the end of six overs, which soon became 77/7 in 13 overs. 

However, that’s when Sherfane Rutherford stepped up and slammed 68* off 39 deliveries to take the West Indies to an above-par score of 149/9. The Blackcaps conceded 37 runs in the last two overs and that played a major role in their defeat.

In the run chase, New Zealand once again lost early wickets. Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, Kane Williamson and Daryl Mitchell scored 28 runs between them as New Zealand were reduced to 85/6 in 15.1 overs. Glenn Phillips (33-ball 40) and Mitchell Santner (12-ball 21*) did put up some fight to reduce the margin but the game was over well before that.

So, can New Zealand still qualify for the Super 8s?

Well, mathematically, they still can, but their chances of progressing further are close to NONE. With two defeats in as many games, the Blackcaps are currently at the bottom of the Group C points table, with their NRR reading -2.425. The West Indies have already qualified from that group, so there’s only one place for the taking. 

And that spot in all likelihood is going to Afghanistan, who have won both their encounters and have an unbelievable NRR of +5.225. Now, all they have to do is win one of their remaining two games and they will qualify for the Super 8s. 

Their last group game is against the West Indies on June 17 but before that, Afghanistan are playing Papua New Guinea (PNG) on June 13 (Thursday) and you would expect them to win this match. And if that happens, New Zealand will be officially out of the tournament even before playing their next fixture. 

If a miracle does take place in the Afghanistan-PNG game, New Zealand will then have to win their last two games against Uganda (June 14) and PNG (June 17) by insane margins. They will then also want the West Indies to beat Afghanistan by a big margin. But even then, it will be extremely tough for New Zealand to take their NRR of -2.425 above Afghanistan’s +5.225.

Hence, it won’t be a wrong conclusion if we say New Zealand are not going to the next round.

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