England are in the driving seat for a T20 World Cup semi-final after a crucial win over New Zealand

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England are in the driving seat for a T20 World Cup semi-final place after their crucial win over New Zealand: Jos Buttler’s men must still beat Sri Lanka… and only a BIG Australia win over Afghanistan can stop them 

  • England beat New Zealand by 20 runs to climb back into second spot in Group 1
  • Jos Buttler’s men will almost certainly qualify if they beat Sri Lanka on Saturday
  • Kiwis have a 2.233 NRR, superior to England’s 0.547 and Australia’s -0.304 
  • Australia must thump Afghanistan in Adelaide to overcome England’s NRR 
  • But Aussies could also go through if they win and England lose to Sri Lanka
  • New Zealand could reach the semi-final even if they lose to Ireland on Friday 

England breathed new life into their T20 World Cup campaign with a thrilling 20-run win over New Zealand in Brisbane on Tuesday, which leaves them in control of their destiny ahead of their final group game.

Despite the loss at the Gabba, New Zealand still top Group 1 with five points, ahead of England and Australia, who are also on five points but with an inferior net run rate (NRR), and Sri Lanka with four points.

With the top two teams in each group progressing to the semi-final, NRR could come into play as three out of New Zealand, England, Australia and Sri Lanka could finish on seven points if they win their respective games.

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Even Ireland, currently fifth with three points, have not been mathematically eliminated yet.

Here Sportsmail takes a look at the different permutations that will decide Group 1.

England remained in control of their destiny with a 20-run win over New Zealand on Tuesday

NEW ZEALAND

The Kiwis remain top of the table despite their loss to England and, crucially, retain a healthy 2.233 NRR courtesy of a commanding 89-run win against Australia in their first game.

But New Zealand could still miss out on a semi-final spot if they lose to Ireland in Adelaide on Friday and both Australia and England win by a big enough margin to overcome their NRR.

Significantly, New Zealand play before both of their rivals on Friday. 

New Zealand remain top of Group 1 despite the loss to England and have the healthiest net run rate of any team going into their game against Ireland on Friday in Adelaide

New Zealand remain top of Group 1 despite the loss to England and have the healthiest net run rate of any team going into their game against Ireland on Friday in Adelaide 

ENGLAND 

The win against New Zealand put Jos Buttler’s men in the driving seat for the second semi-final spot, but England still have some work to do.

Their NRR currently stands at 0.547, comfortably ahead of Australia’s -0.304, meaning a win against Sri Lanka in Sydney on Saturday should all but guaranteed them a berth in the final four.

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Lose to Sri Lanka, however, and it could come down to NRR. Crucially, England will have the luxury of knowing exactly what they need to do as they play a day later than New Zealand and Australia.

England will almost certainly progress to the semi-finals if they beat Sri Lanka on Saturday

England will almost certainly progress to the semi-finals if they beat Sri Lanka on Saturday

AUSTRALIA

The Aussies’ hopes of winning back-to-back T20 World Cups hang by a thread after England beat New Zealand. 

Australia are third in the group after beating Ireland by 42 runs on Monday, but with a -0.304 NRR, inferior to both New Zealand and England’s. 

The defending champions had to beat Ireland by 75 runs or more on Monday night to overcome England’s NRR and looked on course to do just that as they reduced the visitors to 5-25 in Brisbane.

Australia beat Ireland by 42 runs in Brisbane to keep their T20 World Cup hopes alive, but face an uphill battle to make the semi-finals after England beat New Zealand

Australia beat Ireland by 42 runs in Brisbane to keep their T20 World Cup hopes alive, but face an uphill battle to make the semi-finals after England beat New Zealand 

However, Lorcan Tucker’s splendid 71 not out derailed their plans and may well turn out to be England’s most important innings of the group stages.

Aaron Finch’s men must beat Afghanistan by about 50-60 runs on Friday – or chase the total down with five overs to spare if batting second – to overcome England’s NRR.

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Any margin of win, however, would be enough if England were to lose to Sri Lanka.

SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka have flown under the radar in Group 1, but enter their final still in with a chance to reach the semi-finals.

Their -0.457 NRR makes it a very slender chance, however. Sri Lanka must beat England at the SCG on Saturday and hope either New Zealand or Australia suffer an unlikely loss to Ireland or Afghanistan respectively a day earlier.

Were either of New Zealand or Australia to have their games washed out – and remember, they both play a double-header in Adelaide on Friday – then Sri Lanka will need a thumping win against England to overcome either on NRR.

Sri Lanka are still alive but must thrash England on Saturday and hope results go their way

Sri Lanka are still alive but must thrash England on Saturday and hope results go their way

IRELAND

If Sri Lanka have a slim chance, Ireland require a minor miracle to make it to the semi-finals. 

Their -1.544 NRR means Andrew Balbirnie’s men must thrash New Zealand on Friday by an enormous margin to overcome England’s NRR and then hope Australia lose to Afghanistan and England win by the slimmest of margins against Sri Lanka.

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