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Cricket World Cup Semifinals Loom: India, South Africa Secure Spots

Cricket Betting in India

With the ICC Cricket World Cup group stage nearing its conclusion, India and South Africa have secured their places in the semifinals on November 15th and 16th.

Meanwhile, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Afghanistan remain in contention for the last two knockout stage spots.

India cemented their position atop the table and South Africa also qualified following the Proteas’ heavy loss against the hosts on Sunday. Defending champions England became the first team eliminated after a string of disappointing results.

Clinical India First to Confirm Semifinal Position

India have been in irresistible form, winning all eight matches so far to comfortably top the standings. Their 243-run thrashing of South Africa confirmed the hosts as the first side into the semis.

Star batter Virat Kohli has led India’s ruthless march to the knockout phase, smashing three sublime centuries. With home conditions suiting their balanced squad, India remain favorites to lift the trophy.

South Africa Overcome Early Hiccups to Progress

Despite crashing to defeat against India, South Africa had already secured their berth in the final four. They bounced back strongly after initial losses to qualify for the semis for the first time since 2015.

Veteran opener Quinton de Kock found form at the right time, playing key knocks to steady the South African ship after a rocky start. They will aim to atone for their heavy loss to India when the two sides potentially meet again in the final.

Australia Well-Placed to Qualify with Win

Five-time champions Australia are on 10 points and will confirm their last four entry by winning one of their remaining two games. Even if they lose both, their net run rate should still see them through.

The Aussies have banked on a core of seasoned veterans like David Warner, Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc to regularly post competitive totals and defend them. Maintaining consistency will be key for Australia to progress.

New Zealand Relying on Win and Favorable Results

After four defeats dented their campaign, the Kiwis now face a must-win final group match against Sri Lanka to keep semifinal hopes alive.

But New Zealand also need other results to go their way, requiring Afghanistan and Pakistan to drop points. If rained out against Sri Lanka, net run rate could determine the Black Caps’ fate.

Pakistan Mount Late Surge to Bring Semis in Sight

In familiar style, Pakistan have ignited their hopes with consecutive victories after early struggles. They can advance with a win over England coupled with losses for New Zealand and Afghanistan.

If Pakistan fall short against England, their net run rate deficit makes qualification an uphill prospect. But the team has momentum heading into the virtual quarterfinal clash.

Afghanistan Control Own Destiny with Two Matches Left

Among the three teams on 8 points, Afghanistan have the biggest advantage with two games remaining against top sides Australia and South Africa.

Two wins would propel the rising cricketing nation to the semifinals for the first time ever. Even splitting the games could see Afghanistan through if other results favor them.

But defeats in both matches would abruptly end Afghanistan’s fairytale World Cup run. Their fighting spirit will be severely tested.

Final Week Set for Thrilling Climax

After a tournament marked by upsets and unpredictability, the battle for the last two semifinal spots is going down to the wire.

While India have already claimed top spot, South Africa, Australia and the four contenders each have a path to the knockouts. It sets up a tension-filled final week of group play with no team assured of qualification yet.

Any of the six remaining sides could book a semifinal place with victories at the right time. But the four chasers know one loss could also dash their hopes if results don’t work in their favor.


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