With three matches remaining in the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup 2023, India vs Sri Lanka will give us a fair idea of who might make the title round. Here’s a look at the scenarios (without forgetting the ever-present Colombo rain).
Scenario 1: India beat Sri Lanka
India will cement their spot in the final and Bangladesh will be out of contention, and the winners of the Pakistan vs Sri Lanka game on Thursday will 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 (Sri Lanka are better placed at this stage).
Scenario 2: Sri Lanka beat India
Sri Lanka will still not be certain of a place in the final, as they could end up in a three-way tie with Pakistan and India on four points. India are better placed than the other two to qualify in this scenario because of their NRR, boosted by the massive 228-run win over Pakistan.
India currently have a cushion of 207 runs over Sri Lanka on NRR. So they will have a better NRR than Sri Lanka even if they lose by, say, 100 runs on Tuesday. For Pakistan to surpass India’s NRR, they would need to close a gap of about 300 runs. They have a better chance of overtaking Sri Lanka on that front.
If Sri Lanka beat India, it can give Bangladesh an outside chance. But that would require a massive win for Bangladesh against India and Pakistan must lose against Sri Lanka. If Sri Lanka beat India by about 150 runs, Bangladesh will need to beat India by about 125 to have an edge on NRR.
Scenario 3: Rain beats India and Sri Lanka
If India and Sri Lanka share points, it would put Bangladesh out of the race. However, it will be a good result for Pakistan because of their poor NRR. They will qualify for the final if they beat Sri Lanka on Thursday but crash out if they lose. India will join Pakistan in the final even if they lose to Bangladesh – because of a superior NRR – and can even afford to lose by more than 200 runs.
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 the three matches from here on are called off, it will be an India vs Sri Lanka final.