Afghanistan vs New Zealand: One match, three teams’ fates: Breaking down Group 2’s all-important match

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As things stand, India’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup hopes are still alive. If things don’t go their way in New Zealand’s match against Afghanistan though, everything changes. Here, we look at the consequences of each potential result.

As England and Australia secure their ICC Men's T20 World Cup semi-final spots through Group 1, attention turns to a precarious Group 2, where three teams remain in the hunt to join Pakistan in the final four.

Having gone undefeated in their first four matches of the campaign, Babar Azam's men, guaranteed a knockout spot, have avoided the jostle late in the group stage. 

In the fight for the other semi-final spot, India, Afghanistan and New Zealand are jockeying for position, and with the bearing of three team's campaigns resting on New Zealand's match with Afghanistan today, the world's attention will be on Abu Dhabi.

Given the significance of the match and the three teams' hopes, we've broken down the consequences of all three possible results.

If New Zealand win

A New Zealand victory presents the most straightforward of scenarios.

The Black Caps can lock down their spot in the semi-finals by beating Afghanistan as it would take them to eight points, out of reach of India and leaving Mohammad Nabi’s team on four.

If New Zealand win and Pakistan suffer a surprise loss to Scotland, the Black Caps could finish the group on top spot courtesy of a superior net run-rate.

The situation for New Zealand: Locked in for the semi-finals with a chance at top in the group

The situation for Afghanistan: Eliminated

The situation for India: Eliminated

If Afghanistan win

An Afghanistan win opens up all sorts of permutations.

It would take the team to six points, drawing them level on points with New Zealand and likely second courtesy of superior net run-rate.

That being said, a victory over New Zealand would not be enough to lock down Afghanistan’s spot in the semi-finals.

For Afghanistan, net run-rate will be key and they’ll have an eye on India’s game against Namibia on Monday. India will go into that match knowing exactly what they need to do to leapfrog both New Zealand and Afghanistan on NRR.

The situation for New Zealand: Eliminated

The situation for Afghanistan:  Through to the semi-finals if India lose or if finish with an inferior net run-rate

The situation for India: Through to semi-finals if they beat Namibia and secure a superior NRR than both Afghanistan and New Zealand.

If the match ends in a tie or non-result

The chances of a tie or a non-result are minimal given the climate of Abu Dhabi and unlimited Super Overs barring exceptional circumstances.

Nevertheless, if New Zealand and Afghanistan were to split the points, New Zealand would move to seven points making it impossible for India to chase them down.

The situation for New Zealand: Through to the semi-finals

The situation for Afghanistan:  Eliminated

The situation for India: Eliminated

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