Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe in driving seat as ODI World Cup Qualifiers move into Super Six

The group stage of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 Qualifier has come to an end, with Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe leading the way as the Super Six stage officially begins on Thursday.

Harare: The group stage of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 Qualifier has come to an end, with Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe leading the way as the Super Six stage officially begins on Thursday.

The six teams to progress out of Groups A and B had already been determined prior to the final round of matches. And with results against the other Super Six teams from the group to be carried forward, the final set of group fixtures became de facto Super Six matches.

And the results leave Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka in a strong position in the Super Six table as they go in search of the two qualification spots, with West Indies and Oman in particular trouble.

Super Six Stage Scenarios

Each team in the Super Six stage will carry the points forward from their group matches against fellow top-three finishers.That means Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka both move forward on four points, Netherlands and Scotland on two points, and with West Indies and Oman on zero.

Each of the teams now has three further matches to play, with fixtures against the three teams to qualify from the other group.

The top two teams at the conclusion of the group stage progress to a showpiece final and both qualify for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India later this year.

Advantage Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe

Sri Lanka started this tournament as the highest-ranked team present, and they remain well-placed to reach India later this year. There’s still work to do, with crunch fixtures to come, but with Wanindu Hasaranga in outstanding form, taking 18 wickets in his four matches to-date in the tournament, Sri Lanka will be confident.

Hosts Zimbabwe are flying too, producing some stunning cricket in front of big home crowds. The momentum is all with the Chevrons as they carry four points into the group stage, and their meeting with Sri Lanka will be massive.

Trouble for West Indies

The West Indies are in real danger of missing out on a place at the Cricket World Cup, with their remarkable Super Over defeat to Netherlands taking the wind out of their sails.

Scotland are up next, where the West Indies will be looking for a big win to get some points on the board and give them a net run rate boost. And should their chances still be alive when they face Oman on July 5, then that will be a match that they will target ahead of a tricky fixture versus Sri Lanka to finish off the Super Six stage.

It’s still possible for West Indies to qualify, but they will almost certainly need to win each of the remaining three games, at least one by a big margin to boost their NRR, and also hope for results to go in their favour elsewhere.

Oman facing uphill challenge

Oman’s start to the tournament was sensational and they fully deserve their spot in the Super Six. But they will likely need to pull off shock wins against all of Zimbabwe, Netherlands and West Indies to qualify from their current position.

Big chance for Netherlands and Scotland

The Dutch are one of the lowest-ranked teams at the tournament and are missing a number of key players, but could yet defy their ranking of 17 in the world and reach the Cricket World Cup.

The brilliance of their Super Over win against West Indies has given the Netherlands two points with three games still to play, and the rest of the Super Six sides will be wary after seeing the power that the Dutch batting line-up possesses.

Scotland are in fine form and possess some decent spin options, which should stand them in good stead as the pitches take increasing turn in the latter stages of the tournament.

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