Win, then hope for the best for West Indies and New Zealand


New Zealand players may have had a gastro problem or three, but surely they and West Indies have received the best of Sri Lankan hospitality? For, on Monday, they’ll hope like hell that the hosts beat England reported Sidharth Monga.
New Zealand have no points so far, and their only entry point is if they beat West Indies and England lose too, to force a three-way tie at two points. If that happens, New Zealand will stand a good chance of making it to the semi-finals: their net run-rate of -0.268 is already better than West Indies’ -0.621, and not too worse than England’s -0.115. If it all goes to plan for New Zealand, their own net run-rate will improve, and England’s will take a beating, bridging that gap.
Theoretically West Indies can be a part of a three-way tie even if they lose, but their poor net run-rate after the thrashing from Sri Lanka means it does them no good. In theory, West Indies too will have two avenues if they beat New Zealand: an England defeat later will give them a clear passage, while it will be a three-way tie with England and Sri Lanka should England win. Again, though, West Indies’ net run-rate is likely to keep them third-best should the hosts lose.
So, for both the sides, the endeavour will be to win without worrying too much about the net run-rate and hope Sri Lanka keep up their good form later in the day. However, if only the second match is rained out, it will be bad news for New Zealand and good for West Indies. Neither of them can afford a whole washed-out day. If only the first game is washed out, New Zealand go out, and West Indies will again hope for a Sri Lanka win.