Afghanistan sealed the seventh spot in the World Cup 2023

In the 3-match ODI series between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka with accounts to sealing a spot in ICC World Cup 2023, Afghanistan now leads the series 1-0 due to second match washed out due to rain. This helped them sealed the seventh spot and directly qualified for the World Cup 2023 along with India, Australia, England, Bangladesh, Pakistan and New Zealand. In total of 8 seats for direct qualification, the race is on for the 8th spot between South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Ireland.

The maximum number of points the current six teams in the bottom can achieve is 109, while each of the top six teams have 120 and more. Afghanistan, currently placed seventh with 115 points, still have ten matches to be played. It is unlikely they will slip below 109 with over-rate penalties due to their spin-heavy bowling unit and having not lost a point yet.

West Indies:
Played - 24, Points - 88
Remaining matches - 0

With no matches left, if West Indies needs to qualify none of Ireland, Sri Lanka and South Africa should win more than two of their remaining matches. West Indies could see themselves tie on 88 points with Ireland (if they win two of their remaining three), but they will be ranked higher based on the number of wins.

Played - 21, Points - 68
Remaining matches - 3 vs Bangladesh (H)

If Ireland needs to directly qualify for the World Cup 2023, they need to win all the 3- matches with Bangladesh. If they win all the 3 matches and Sri Lanka and South Africa wins more than 3 of their remaining matches then Ireland’s chances will be minimalised.

South Africa:
Played - 16, Points - 59
Remaining matches - 3 vs Australia (A), 3 vs England (H) and 2 vs Netherlands (H)

Out of these 8 matches 3 match series against Australia has been called off due to SA20 league dates which is scheduled in January. In the remaining 5 matches three wins will be enough for South Africa if Sri Lanka and Ireland don’t win more than two matches, but they have to win four if any of Sri Lanka and Ireland bag three wins.

Sri Lanka:
Played - 20, Points - 67
Remaining matches - 1 vs Afghanistan (H) and 3 vs New Zealand (A)

Sri Lanka need to win at least three of their remaining matches to have a chance of direct qualification for the World Cup. In the scenario of three wins, they need to hope South Africa don’t win more than three while Ireland don’t win more than two of their remaining games. Even if Sri Lanka win their remaining four games, they still need South Africa to lose a game. South Africa will be in a must-win scenario for their remaining five matches if Sri Lanka manage to win their remaining four.

Stats: Sri Lanka has never won an ODI series in New Zealand since 2001 and New Zealand has never lost a single ODI match in home since 2019.