The World Cup so far has lived up to its expectations of being the premier cricket tournament across the globe with lots of twists and turns, upsets galore, innumerable mind-numbing moments and at times, high quality cricket.
Group B has seen a cyclic chain forming with almost everyone beating everyone; India, Bangladesh, England, South Africa in that order. This has resulted in an interesting scenario, a case-study of sorts and will definitely feature in all the MBA examinations for the coming year! [should be in the Data Interpretation section]. Group A meanwhile has chugged along in a less chaotic manner with the quarter finalists already decided. However it has come down to the fact that positions 1,2,3 and 4 will be decided by 2 matches: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka [happening now] and Pakistan vs Australia.
Let us first take a look at the points table and do a little PnC:
Since the group standings will be decided by two matches, let us look at all the various combinations possible:"
- Aus – win , NZ – win , Pak – loss , SL – loss 
- NZ – win , Pak – win , Aus – loss , SL – loss 
- Aus – win , SL – win , NZ – loss , Pak – loss 
- Pak – win , SL – win , Aus – loss , NZ – loss 
These are all the combinations possible and by the looks of it, apart from SL all the other 3 teams have a chance of finishing 1st. That makes for an enticing final 2 matches as finishing on top leaves you with the possibility of playing a slightly weaker team from the other group.
Unlike Group A, this group has 5 teams fighting for the 4 qualifying spots and has witnessed a lot of drama, especially the matches involving England. Matches remaining in the group [the important ones]:
Bangladesh vs South Africa and India vs West Indies
Various Combinations possible:
- SA – win , Ind – win , Eng – , WI – loss /Ban – loss(will come down to NRR)
- SA – win , WI – win , Eng – /Ind – loss  (will take up the last 2 positions depending on NRR)
- Ind – win , SA – loss / Ban – win , Eng –  ( positions 2,3 will be decided on NRR )
- WI - win /Ban – win /SA – loss , Ind – loss/Eng –  (All positions to be decided on NRR)
This just reinforces the fact that Group B has been very competitive and equally chaotic.
India will miss out on a top 4 spot only if Bangladesh beat South Africa and they lose to West Indies by a big margin thereby dragging their NRR less than England’s.
England’s fate although not in their hands lies firmly in India’s hands. An Indian win assures them of a place in the quarter finals, while a loss makes the situation slightly more complex. [If SA win, Eng are still through, however if SA lose, then it comes down to NRR b/w Ind and Eng]
West Indies are in a strong position still even after yesterday’s thrilling defeat to England. The only way WI will not make it to the quarter finals is if they lose to Ind and Ban defeat SA (highly unlikely, with no serious disrespect to Bangladesh) or they lose to Ind by a big margin, causing their NRR to drop below Ban [assuming Ban lose to South Africa).
Bangladesh have revived their campaign with that famous win over England. A win against table toppers SA and they are through to the knock out stages while a loss will leave their fate tantalisingly poised on NRR (assuming Ind win against WI). A Ban defeat and a WI win against Ind will end Bangladesh’s world cup campaign.
South Africa have already qualified for the knock out stages and a win against Ban will assure them of top spot. A loss however will again cause the evil called “NRR” to run riot and decide their position which could be anything from 1 to 3.
So there you have it. While it took me a single paragraph to lay out the combinations in Group A, Group B is nothing short of the toughest Data Interpretation (DI) question you will ever get in a CAT examination .
Finally, as an author of this post, I definitely retain the right to post my opinion on what the group standings will turn out to be:
Pakistan will win against Australia, Sri Lanka will beat New Zealand
So A1)Pakistan A2)Sri Lanka A3)Australia A4)New Zealand
India will defeat West Indies and South Africa will smash Bangladesh
So B1)South Africa B2)India B3)England B4)West Indies
Quarter Final Line up:
Australia - India
South Africa – New Zealand
Sri Lanka – England
West Indies– Pakistan
Let the “Prediction” game begin !!