Proteas World Cup

The Proteas in a huddle. Photo: Twitter @OfficialCSA

How the Proteas can qualify for semi-finals – EXPLAINER

The Proteas are on the verge of qualifying for the T20 World Cup semi-finals, but even a win over England may not guarantee this outcome.

Proteas World Cup

The Proteas in a huddle. Photo: Twitter @OfficialCSA

After a loss to Australia in the Proteas’ opening game, the South African team has bounced back with all-important wins over the West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.


As a result, the Proteas are handily placed in second place in the competitive Group 1, but Australia are just two points behind and with a game in hand.

South Africa will next face England on Saturday, but will first be keeping a close eye on the clash between Australia and Bangladesh on Thursday.

The Aussies then face the West Indies in the game that precedes the Proteas-England blockbuster match on Saturday. 

A South African win over England would draw those two teams level on log points, but the 50-over world champions do currently have a significantly better net run rate (3.18 to South Africa’s 0.74).

The primary aim for the Proteas will be to continue their winning streak, and if Australia then come up short against either Bangladesh or the West Indies, Mark Boucher’s team will be assured of a spot in the semi-finals, which will be contested between the top two teams in each group.

Yet, the fact of the matter is that even if the Proteas beat England, progression to the semi-finals could still come down to net run rate if Australia beat both the Windies and Bangladesh. As it stands, though, Australia do have an inferior NRR of -0.63.

If Australia win just one of their final two matches, it could obviously also boil down to net run rate if the Proteas were to lose to high-flying England.

However, if Australia lost both of their remaining games, the Proteas would be assured of a semi-final berth before a ball is even bowled against England.

The good news is that South Africa will know exactly where they stand and what should be required when they take on England in that all-important encounter that begins at 16:00 in Sharjah.