T20 World Cup, Group 1 – Permutations and combinations after Afghanistan’s memorable win

Afghanistan vs Australia, ICC T20 WC 2024
Afghanistan vs Australia, ICC T20 WC 2024 (PC: X)

Afghanistan‘s heroic performance against Australia, in St Vincent, in the ICC T20 World Cup has provided a window of opportunity for a couple of teams to qualify for the semifinals. At the same time, it has put a spanner in the works for both Australia and India.

When India usurped Bangladesh in Antigua, it seemed as if everything was happening on expected lines. That isn’t the case now. Just to illustrate the point further, Afghanistan’s momentous victory has thrown a lifeline to even Bangladesh, who in turn have lost both their games so far. Let’s analyse the various permutations and combinations.


For starters, this victory also means that Afghanistan’s NRR has improved to -.650. Although that massive 47-run loss to India could still haunt them, due to that result, their NRR is still behind that of India (2.425) and Australia (.223). Afghanistan will play their next game against Bangladesh in St Vincent on June 25. Interestingly, that is a day after India lock horns against Australia in St Lucia. So, Afghanistan would know exactly what they have to do in relation to NRR, in order to pip Australia (or India) depending on the outcome of the game.

If Australia lose that match, then it is a straightforward equation — Afghanistan just have to win their final game versus Bangladesh. If Australia go on to win that match and Afghanistan come out on top versus Bangladesh, then it would come down to NRR between the three teams – India, Australia and Afghanistan. 


The formidable Indian side, yet to lose a game in this World Cup, are best-placed to progress from the group. The simple reason is they have maintained a healthy NRR and won both their matches in Super 8s. Having said that, there are still dangers lurking around in the corner. 

If India lose by a huge margin in their last game of the group, their NRR could still dip below that of Australia (and  Afghanistan). In such circumstances, it comes down to India doing some damage control. The best possible equation for India would be to win their final game and qualify for the last-four.


The Bangladesh Tigers are also not completely  out of contention to progress to the next stage. One of the hurdles for Bangladesh is their NRR. It is at a lowly -2.489. For them, it isn’t just about winning versus Afghanistan, but they have to emerge triumphant by a big margin. Along with that, they have to also hope for India to usurp Australia. If Australia go on to win that game, then Bangladesh are eliminated.