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As the ICC Champions Trophy group stage reaches its climax there are still no clear favourites as both the groups are still wide open. After a dull opening, the tournament is split wide open courtesy of a few washouts and a few upsets. Already four of the seven matches were marred by rain and this has resulted in the teams still vying for a spot in the semifinals. As of now only, England has secured a spot in the semis and hence, now we take look at the scenarios of both the groups.
In Group A, hosts England have displayed consistency in both their outings and has thereby have become the first team to qualify for the semifinals. The rest of the three teams are still in the fray to secure the second spot. Among those three Australia will be most disappointed as both their games were washed out by rain. In case they fail to get a positive result against England (which is their final group game) then they will be forced to pack their bags and head home. New Zealand, meanwhile, will take on Bangladesh and hope to get a positive result which will keep them in the hunt for the semi-final spot. However, Bangladesh beat New Zealand and the Aussies do not get a favourable result then the Tigers will have a roar.
The equation for Australia is simple – they have to get a win to register four points and go through. If they win then the result in the other group game (New Zealand vs Bangladesh) becomes immaterial. Meanwhile, when New Zealand square off against Bangladesh they will hope to get a positive result which will keep them in the hunt for the semi-final spot. However, if Bangladesh beat New Zealand and the Aussies do not get a favourable result then the Tigers will get a chance to roar in the semis.
Led by Angelo Matthews, the young brigade of Sri Lanka, have caused a huge upset by beating India at the Oval as they chased down a record 322 on Thursday. However, this result has thrown Group B wide open as it has become a potential group of death. All the four teams in this group are tied at 2 points each. India sits at the top of the table due to a better run-rate. They are followed by South Africa and Sri Lanka and then Pakistan.
However, the next couple of matches between India and South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are virtual quarterfinals because whoever wins goes through to the semis. Hence, the equation is clear – win the match and go through, else pack your bags and head home.