With the 2014 World Twenty20 Super 10 stage at its midway point, the top teams are starting to separate themselves from the pack as we get a clear picture of the tournament standings.
India is the only unbeaten team remaining in competition and is already mathematically ensured of a spot in the semi-finals, with the remaining three spots still up for grabs.
Read on for fully updated group tables (accurate as of March 28) and a full prediction of which teams will make if out of the Super 10 group stage.
Sri Lanka and South Africa lead Group 1 with four points each, having played three matches in total. New Zealand and England trail by two points, and both teams still have a game in hand.
England lost a controversial match to New Zealand on its first matchday, falling victim to the infamous D/L method to lose by nine runs, but the team has since rebounded nicely with a win against group leaders Sri Lanka. A big match with the Proteas awaits, with the winner most likely advancing to the knockout stages.
As reported by Sky Sports News, South Africa will be without its captain, Faf Du Plessis:
South Africa captain Faf Du Plessis suspended for tomorrow’s game against England for slow over-rate against Netherlands #SSN— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) March 28, 2014
The South Africans came away with a close win over New Zealand earlier in the tournament, and as this fan points out, the merry-go-round of results has set this group up for an epic final matchday:
New Zealand beat England beat Sri Lanka beat South Africa beat New Zealand. #wt20— Maher Ahmad (@Maher17) March 28, 2014
New Zealand will face minions Netherlands in a must-win before facing off against last month's Asia Cup winners Sri Lanka. Containing Kumar Sangakkara will be a very difficult task for the Kiwis, whose bowling hasn't always held up against top-class batsmen.
Sri Lanka is too good to falter against New Zealand, and I predict the team to rebound from its loss to England to defeat the Kiwis and secure its spot in the next round.
That leaves South Africa, without Faf Du Plessis, and England, universally shot down after its defeat at the hands of New Zealand.
The Proteas have endured a couple of difficult months and were handily beaten by Australia in several matches leading up to the tournament. That same Australian squad has already been eliminated in Group 2. Without Du Plessis, I'm backing England to pull this one off.
Prediction: Sri Lanka and England head for the semi-finals.
India has dominated this group so far and has already booked its ticket for the semi-finals, so only one spot remains here.
West Indies sits in second place, having rebounded from an ugly loss to the Men in Blue with dominant wins over Australia and hosts Bangladesh. A showdown with Pakistan on the final day of the group stages will most likely decide how this group will play out.
Pakistan will play Bangladesh first, though, and will need to win in order to stay alive in the hunt for the final semi-final ticket. Bangladesh struggled during last month's Asia Cup and were handily beaten by Pakistan then, and I don't see things playing out differently this time.
As for the Aussies, they became the first time to be officially eliminated from semi-final contention. No, this will be between Pakistan and the defending champions West Indies.
How excited are fans in Pakistan about this match? Just ask Pakistan Trends:
'West Indies' shows up at this time as Trend in Pakistan pic.twitter.com/izjmXb8wEy— Pakistan Trends (@trendinaliaPK) March 28, 2014
The Windies' group of batsmen nearly cost the team against Australia, with some incredible heroics from Chris Gayle and Darren Sammy the only thing keeping the team alive in this tournament. Pakistan's spin-bowling on the other hand is top-notch and will give this line-up fits.
Can the Windies' unit come through? Mohsin Tanveer has some last-minute advice:
I wrote about the importance of Kieron Pollard after the team's loss to India, and the near-loss against Australia did little to change my mind. The Windies don't have enough consistent performers throughout their group of batsmen to keep up with an explosive unit, and Gayle can't do it on his own.
As much as I'd like to pick the defending champs, I simply can't.
Prediction: Pakistan joins India in the semi-final.