Group discussion: Crash out in testing conditions

USA took it a step further with a super-over win against Pakistan, which knocked the 2022 runners-up out of contention for the Super 8.
United States of America are the only associate team to have qualified for Super 8 so far. Other qualified teams are India, Australia, Afghanistan, WI & South Africa.
United States of America are the only associate team to have qualified for Super 8 so far. Other qualified teams are India, Australia, Afghanistan, WI & South Africa.

CHENNAI: The day the 2024 T20 World Cup started, nobody would have imagined that halfway through the tournament, amongst the four semi-finalists from the previous edition, only India would have confirmed their position in the Super 8.

There were talks of sluggish pitches, weather disruptions, one-sided matches but in the end what mattered was results in the middle. And to be fair, teams that played well won.

The tournament has truly turned global too. The likes of New Zealand and Pakistan, are already out of the World Cup, while the future of defending champions England is only partially in their hands (late night match on Saturday/Sunday). On the other hand, Afghanistan (ranked 10 in ICC T20I rankings) and the USA (ranked 17) have qualified for the Super 8 for the first time.

The reasons these so-called big teams have struggled to make it to the Super 8 can be traced back to the conditions in the US.

At the same time, the lower-ranked teams, especially from the associate nations, have raised the bar to a new level. Undoubtedly, there have been a handful of upsets, but there could have been more such results. For example, at one time during the chase of 136 against Papua New Guinea in the second fixture of the WC, West Indies were in trouble with 10 runs required per over.

USA took it a step further with a super-over win against Pakistan, which knocked the 2022 runners-up out of contention for the Super 8.

Afghanistan, who were so close to the semi-final spot in the ODI World Cup last year, surpassed all expectations to beat New Zealand comprehensively this time. On Saturday, Nepal lost by just one run against South Africa.

The usual contenders like India, Australia and West Indies have remained unbeaten to confirm their spots, however, it is the unusual suspects that have made T20 WC more interesting.

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