T20 World Cup - Which teams are at risk of leaving the T20 World Cup early?

The T20 World Cup is now more than halfway through the group stages, and the playoff picture is becoming clearer. With just two teams from each group progressing to the Super 8 stage of the competition, there are now just four remaining places available to be filled.

That also means that some major nations, including some who were among the favorites before a ball was bowled, could be set for an early exit from the competition.

That includes both finalists from 2022, England and Pakistan, and the side that has been one of the most consistent performers in all game formats over the past decade, New Zealand. 

Already, one former winner of this tournament is out of contention, and Sri Lanka is currently bottom of their group with one match to play.

In some cases, the inquiries have already begun about what went wrong and demand changes made as to how the game is structured and administered locally, even though the teams still have group games to complete.


Pakistan won the World Cup in 2009 and has twice been a finalist, most recently in 2022. However, after losing their first two games in Group A, their chances of progressing further in this competition are fading.

In their opening match, they were on the wrong end of arguably the biggest upset in the tournament's history when they were beaten by the co-hosts, the USA, in a Super Over in Dallas.

They had batted first and made 159/7 from their 20 overs, only for the Americans to tie that by hitting a four off the last ball of their innings.

The home side batted first in the Super Over, with left-armed fast bowler Mohammed Amir given the responsibility of bowling it. Unfortunately, the pressure proved too much for him; he bowled three wides, from one of which the Americans also benefited from two overthrows.

The 18 that the Americans could muster proved too much, and Pakistan lost by six runs. This result sent shockwaves through the cricketing world and was greeted with dismay back home in Pakistan.

Their next match was a highly anticipated clash with their old foe, India, in New York. For much of the game, they could argue they were on top, restricting India to just 119 when they batted, 

although that could have been even better. Rishabh Pant, who top-scored for India with 42, was dropped four times before he was eventually out, while shoddy fielding also saw them concede unnecessary fielding.

They were still well-placed at 57/1 in their run chase, but then the Indian bowlers squeezed the run rate, and panic began to set in amongst the Pakistan batters. Ultimately, the pressure proved too great, and they fell short of their victory target.

They did manage to beat Canada by seven wickets on the same ground, but more is needed. They are currently third in the table, behind India, which has already qualified, and the USA, which has two more points than them. Both have one game to play, against Ireland, which is already effectively out of contention.

If the Americans get a result against the Irish, Pakistan's T20 World Cup challenge will be over.

Their only advantage is that their net run rate is better than that of Americans. That gives them a faint hope that the Irish can raise their game and spirits when they play the USA.


England is the defending champions from 2022 and also won the tournament when it was staged in the West Indies in 2010. However, after an underwhelming start to their campaign, their further participation in the tournament this time around is in doubt.

They can argue that they were the victims of the misfortune of their first match against neighbors Scotland in Barbados, which was abandoned because of rain after ten overs of the Scottish innings.

Nevertheless, the Scots' reaching 90 without loss by that stage indicates that a win was by no means guaranteed. However, no luck was involved as they were beaten by their old foe, Australia, at the same venue a few days later, going down by 34 runs.

Meanwhile, Scotland has enjoyed thumping victories against the other two teams in the group, Namibia and Oman, which has given them a healthy Net Run Rate.

England now has to match or even better those results against the two group minnows, and even that may be needed. That is because Australia, who have already qualified for the Super 8 stage of the tournament, plays Scotland in their final game. The Australians, always ready to get one over on the "poms," have already hinted that they may be ready to rest players for that game, and there have even been suggestions that it may be in their best interests to "throw it" to ensure England is eliminated from the competition.

Given the inherently competitive nature of Australian cricketers, that is unlikely, and it is just trash-talking designed to ratchet up the pressure,but it does leave the English in a vulnerable position.

New Zealand

Few teams have been more consistent in major tournaments in recent memory than New Zealand. They reached the semi-finals of the ODI World Cup in 2015 and 2023 and were beaten finalists in 2019.

Meanwhile, they finished runners in the 2021 T20 World Cup final and reached the semi-finals the following year. They also won the inaugural World Test Championship. But their campaign this time is as good as over after two opening defeats.

Things began badly for them with a heavy loss to Afghanistan in Guyana. Set 160 to win, they made a disastrous start to their reply and were all out for 75 in less than 16 overs, despite the fabled strength of their batting order.

Not only did that mean the loss of two points, but it gave them a negative Net Run Rate.

That emphasised them getting a good result against the co-hosts, the West Indies, in Trinidad. They began well after putting the co-hosts into bat and reduced them to 30/5 before Sherfane Rutherford led a recovery, making an unbeaten 68, which allowed the home side to post 149/9 from their 20 overs.

While that was not an insurmountable total, their batting yet again let them down. Glenn Phillips top scored with 40, but yet again, players like Kane Williamson, Daryl Mitchell, and Rachin Ravindra failed to deliver for their team. Their eventual defeat by 13 runs leaves them on the brink.

They still have two games to play, and they will be heavy favourites to beat Papua New Guinea and Uganda. But even if they rack up convincing victories in both games, that is unlikely to be enough. That is because only two qualification places are available in Group C, and the West Indies have already claimed one.

The next match in this group will feature Afghanistan against Papua New Guinea. If the Afghans win, then New Zealand's fate is decided, whatever happens in their two remaining games. Given that the Afghans are ranked ten places higher than their next opponents in the ICC world rankings, an upset to rank with the Americans' defeat of Pakistan would be necessary to preserve New Zealand's effective participation in this tournament.

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