The National T20 Cup has provided the fans with thrilling high-quality cricket over the past few weeks. The tournament ha heated up in the last few days with three teams booking their place in the semi-finals.
Northern, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh have sealed the semi-final berth with some dominant displays. Now, three teams are fighting for the last spot for the semi-finals. Balochistan, Central Punjab and Southern Punjab have displayed brilliance in the tournament, but they have struggled to perform consistently as a team.
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Let’s have a look at the qualification scenarios for the remaining three teams:
Central Punjab witnessed some sort of resurgence in form after the arrival of their captain, Babar Azam, and all-rounder, Faheem Ashraf, in the second phase of the tournament. They currently sit 4th on the table with 8 points.
Central Punjab has played all 10 of their matches though and are level on points with 5th placed Balochistan.
In order to qualify, Central Punjab will require Balochistan to lose both of their remaining matches as even one win for Balochistan will send them home packing.
If Balochistan lose both of their matches, they need Southern Punjab to lose at least one of their remaining matches. If Southern Punjab wins both of their matches, they will have to do it by a big margin.
Good thing for Central Punjab is that Balochistan and Southern Punjab have to play against each other once.
Led by the middle-order batsman, Haris Sohail, Balochistan currently occupy the 5th spot on the table. They have won 4 matches out of 8 and have 8 points as are marginally behind Central Punjab on net run rate.
Balochistan have to win one of their remaining two matches to ensure qualification regardless of results elsewhere. If they lose both their matches, they will not be able to qualify because of their lower run rate than Central Punjab.
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Southern Punjab have had a disappointing tournament so far. They’ve had some matches go down to the wire, but more often than not, they have crumbled under pressure. Their qualification chances for the semi-finals look bleak though. They currently sit at the bottom of the table with 4 points in 8 matches.
Southern Punjab have to win both their matches and they have to do it in some style. Their net run rate currently is -0.829, while Central Punjab in the 4th spot has a net run rate of +0.046. They need to win their last two matches by huge margin to improve their net run rate.
Even if Southern Punjab do manage to win their last two matches and get their net run rate higher than Central Punjab, they will need Balochistan to lose both of their matches. Even a single win for Balochistan will end their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals.