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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Statistics

The Super Eight: How the format works

March 27, 2007 10:48 IST
Last Updated: March 27, 2007 17:31 IST

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If you thought you were the only one to believe that the first match in 2007 World Cup's Super-8 will be played between Australia and Ireland, you are wrong.

Quite a number of cricket-fans thought likewise and were left to scratch their heads when it dawned upon them that the match will be between Australia and West Indies.

A look at the schedule released by the International Cricket Council before the tournament will tell you that the first match of the Super-8 is between A1 and D2.

Commonsense will tell us that the side topping Group A will be playing with the number two side in Group D. But this is not the case.

The goof-up is the result of a novel concept from the ICC, and which strangely was not publicised enough for the cause of the common cricket fan. In fact, the ICC has not even mentioned it on their own website as to what these labels (A1, A2, B1...D2) stand for.

The fact of the matter is these labels have nothing to do with the standing of various teams in their respective groups.

The labels were pre-assigned to the named teams based on their rankings at the time of formation of various groups.

It was perhaps done so that fans would know where their teams will play their Super-8 matches. 

That is the reason why the West Indies, despite leading their group, has ended up as D2. The D1 label was assigned to Pakistan because of their higher ranking in comparison to West Indies.

It made some sense for the team replacing the original D1 (Pakistan) to inherit the D1 label because this causes the least amount of disruption.

To make things more clear, let us take the example of India's Group, that is, Group B.

The B1 and B2 were assigned to Sri Lanka and India respectively on the basis of their ICC rankings. Now that India have failed to reach Super-8's and instead Bangladesh have gone though, Bangladesh have become B2.

There is no such problem with either of Group A and C as the two top sides in order of their ranking -- A1 (Australia) & A2 (South Africa) and C1 (New Zealand) & C2 (England) have qualified for the next round.

This is how the Super-8 format works:

Every team plays six matches, against every other team except the side they played in the group stage.

The four group winners -- Australia, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and West Indies -- begin with two extra points, thanks to their wins over the second-placed sides.

It means South Africa, Bangladesh, England and Ireland have a harder job of finishing in the top four when the Super 8 round finishes.

Where they stand in the Super Eight:

 TeamPlayed Won Lost Tied No Result NRR Pts
1Sri Lanka11000+4.302
3West Indies11000+1.042
4New Zealand11000+0.942
7South Africa10100-1.660

Each team will be given two points for every win, with one for a tie or a no-result.

If more than one team ties on points for fourth-placed, the following tie-break rules apply


- Team with the most wins
- Team with best net run-rate
- Team with most wickets taken per balls bowled
- Winner of the game between two level teams
- Draw of lots

The team with the most wins goes through, but net run-rate -- including all matches played in the competition -- is the next and most likely factor to split the sides.

In the unlikely event that there are identical net run rates, the team with the most wickets taken per balls bowled would win through.


The team that finishes first in the Super Eight stage will play the team which finished fourth. Second will play third.

The weather

  • There is a reserve day for every match at the World Cup. Every effort will be made to complete the match on the scheduled day with any necessary reduction in overs taking place.
  • Only if the minimum number of overs (20 per side) cannot be bowled on the scheduled day will the match be completed on the reserve day. Any incomplete matches will be continued the next day from where they left off - a new game will not be started.

- World Cup 2007 schedule

- Do you like this World Cup format?

The Cup: The Complete Coverage

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