New Zealand’s net run rate of 0.398 is the best among the three teams, but their recent form is the worst: they have lost four in a row. The last of those defeats came against Pakistan in Bengaluru, the same venue where they will face Sri Lanka on Thursday.
Given their superior run rate (NRR), a win will significantly increase their chances of reaching the semi-finals as Pakistan and Afghanistan will need wins by massive margins in NRR. However, if New Zealand lose, the only way to qualify is if Pakistan and Afghanistan also lose and remain in eight, in which case New Zealand could sneak into NRR. That will also mean a team qualifying for the World Cup semi-finals despite losing five of nine matches.
There is also a possibility of flooding in Bengaluru, with rain forecast for Thursday. If that happens, New Zealand will finish with nine points and, again, the only way to make the cut is if Pakistan and Afghanistan lose (assuming their matches are not eliminated).
Played: 8, Pts: 8, NRR: 0.036
Remaining match: vs Eng
Pakistan’s NRR is the second best among the three teams. Therefore, if New Zealand lose to Sri Lanka, or if their match is eliminated, a win for Pakistan against England will put them in an extremely strong position to qualify.
However, if New Zealand win, Pakistan will not only need to beat England, but also beat them by a comfortable margin: if, for example, even if New Zealand win by just one run after scoring 300 in a 50-over game, Pakistan They will have to win by 130 to surpass their NRR.
Played: 8, Pts: 8, NRR: -0.338
Remaining match: vs SA
Afghanistan’s NRR of -0.338 is the worst among the three teams, meaning the best they can do is hope that neither New Zealand nor Pakistan win their final match. In that case, any margin of victory against South Africa will be enough. If New Zealand do not win their last match and Pakistan beat England by one run, then Afghanistan will have to beat South Africa by 140 runs to surpass Pakistan’s NRR. However, if New Zealand win by one run in a complete game of over 50 runs, then Afghanistan’s margin of victory will need to be 273 runs (assuming a first innings total of 300). There have been two larger margins of victory in this tournament, but you have to be extremely optimistic to believe that Afghanistan will achieve such a comprehensive victory against South Africa.