Asia Cup: India on the top, Pakistan’s qualification hope relies on Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

New Delhi, Sep 12 (IANS) Pakistan’s massive 228 runs-crushing defeat against archrival India on Monday in the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup has left them behind Sri Lanka in the points table.

Chasing an unnerving target of 357 runs, Pakistan tumbled down very early. The Indian duo of K.L. Rahul and Virat Kohli hit centuries after a solid start by the Indian openers.

Indian spinner Kuldeep Yadav played a pivotal role, claiming five wickets for just 25 runs, securing India’s biggest-ever win over Pakistan (by runs) in One Day International (ODI) cricket.

After the humiliating loss against India, Pakistan are in a do-or-die situation to qualify for the Asia Cup final, needing favours from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Pakistan now have only one match remaining in the Super 4 stage, against Sri Lanka on Thursday (September 14) which is a must-win game for them. But along with that they will also need Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to lose their matches to India to pave their way into the summit clash.

India secured the top position in the Super 4 standings after a memorable victory and can cement their spot in the final with a victory over Sri Lanka, here on Tuesday. If this happens Bangladesh will be out of contention, and, the winners of the Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka game on Thursday will then face India in Sunday’s final.

In case of a washout on Thursday, the team with the better net run rate between Pakistan and Sri Lanka will make the final

As per the current standing, Sri Lanka hold the second position firmly courtesy of a better Net Run Rate (+0.420) as compared to Pakistan (-1.892).

India now lead Sri Lanka by 207 runs in the NRR. Therefore, even if they lose on Tuesday by, say, 100 runs, they will still have a higher NRR than Sri Lanka. Pakistan need to close a gap of roughly 300 runs to pass India’s NRR. On that front, they stand a greater chance of surpassing Sri Lanka.

If Sri Lanka defeat India, Bangladesh may have a chance. But for that to happen, Bangladesh will have to defeat India handily, and Pakistan will have to lose to Sri Lanka. If Sri Lanka beat India by about 150 runs, Bangladesh will need to defeat India by about 125 runs to have an edge on NRR.

However, if Sri Lanka manage to upset India and Pakistan in the Super 4 stage, the reigning champion could secure their spot in the Asia Cup final.

If the fixtures on Tuesday and Thursday are both abandoned, then Sri Lanka will qualify for the final, and India will join them as long as they don’t lose to Bangladesh by more than 300 runs. And if all three matches from here on are called off, it will be an India vs. Sri Lanka final.

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