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T20 World Cup power rankings: Where do the Black Caps sit after Scotland win?

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OPINION: Hat-tricks, stunning catches, a sublime century and a race row. There’s been no shortage of drama during the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup.

We’re fast approaching the business end of the global tournament in the UAE and Oman, where the race for the semifinal spots is heating up.

READ MORE:
* T20 World Cup: Under-pressure Australia try to walk tightrope to semifinals
* Black Caps forced to raise a sweat as Scotland prove World Cup stumbling block
* T20 World Cup: India thrash Afghanistan to keep slim semifinal hopes alive

Pre-tournament favourites India are on the brink of elimination after losing their opening two matches, while England and Pakistan have looked in formidable form, the latter already through to the final four.

The Black Caps rebounded from a first-up loss to demolish India and see off Scotland to give themselves an excellent chance of securing a playoff berth.

Now that every team have played at least three matches, here’s where they sit in our unofficial rankings.

Destructive batter Jos Buttler put both Australia and Sri Lanka to the sword to keep England on course for the semifinals.

Aijaz Rahi/AP

Destructive batter Jos Buttler put both Australia and Sri Lanka to the sword to keep England on course for the semifinals.

1. England (4-0)

Having swept aside West Indies, Bangladesh and Australia in emphatic fashion, Eoin Morgan’s men already had one foot in the semifinals by the time they met Sri Lanka in Sharjah. The way they overcame adversity to prevail by 26 runs suggested they have what it takes to add the T20 crown to the ODI title they won three years ago.

Put into bat for the first time on a tricky low wicket, England were floundering at 47-3 at the halfway mark. Enter ‘Universe Jos’ Buttler, who calmly saw off the Sri Lankan spinners before hitting the seamers around the ground on his way to a sensational 101 not out.

England’s underrated bowling attack did the rest to maintain their unbeaten start and mark them out as clear favourites. It will take something very special to stop this English juggernaut.

Pakistan were the first team to book a spot in the T20 World Cup playoffs and will fancy their chances of lifting the trophy.

Francois Nel/Getty Images

Pakistan were the first team to book a spot in the T20 World Cup playoffs and will fancy their chances of lifting the trophy.

2. Pakistan (4-0)

The first team to book their spot in the semifinals following a comfortable 45-run win over Namibia, Pakistan have been mightily impressive in their four matches.

They produced the performance of the tournament in routing India by 10 wickets in their opener – the first time they had beaten their arch rivals in an ICC competition in 13 attempts – and backed it up with convincing wins over New Zealand and Afghanistan.

Openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan have been scoring runs for fun, while quick Haris Rauf and spinner Shadab Khan have shone with the ball. With a well-balanced, in-form team adept in these conditions, Pakistan might just go all the way.

Martin Guptill’s form with the bat could be key to the Black Caps’ hopes of adding the T20 crown to their trophy cabinet.

DAVID GRAY/PHOTOSPORT

Martin Guptill’s form with the bat could be key to the Black Caps’ hopes of adding the T20 crown to their trophy cabinet.

3. New Zealand (2-1)

It’s been a decidedly mixed bag from the Black Caps in their three Group 2 matches, with that near-perfect dismantling of much-fancied India sandwiched between an unconvincing display against Pakistan and a much-closer-than-expected victory over minnows Scotland.

But when Kane Williamson’s side get it right, they are very good indeed, as India discovered in Dubai when they were ruthlessly taken apart by a team with a clear gameplan executed to perfection.

With rank outsiders Namibia up next, New Zealand are likely to face a winner-takes-all showdown with Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. It will be a tricky test, but one that the Black Caps should come through to set up a likely semifinal with England.

South African captain Temba Bavuma’s understated leadership has helped the Proteas rebound into playoff contention.

Aijaz Rahi/AP

South African captain Temba Bavuma’s understated leadership has helped the Proteas rebound into playoff contention.

4. South Africa (3-1)

The Proteas bounced back from a tight opening loss to Australia to reel off three straight victories and put themselves in semifinal contention. It’s been a hugely impressive turnaround, particularly after star man Quinton de Kock’s refusal to take the knee threatened to destroy their already fragile team harmony.

De Kock subsequently apologised for his bewildering stance and South Africa have looked a capable side since thanks to captain Temba Bavuma’s understated leadership, hammering the West Indies and Bangladesh and edging a nailbiter with Sri Lanka.

A win over England in their final fixture would almost certainly guarantee a spot in the last four, though net run rate may yet come into play in a tight group.

David Warner and captain Aaron Finch run between wickets during Australia’s comfortable victory over Sri Lanka in Dubai.

Aijaz Rahi/AP

David Warner and captain Aaron Finch run between wickets during Australia’s comfortable victory over Sri Lanka in Dubai.

5. Australia (2-1)

Will the real Australia please stand up? At their best, Justin Langer’s men are a match for anyone, swatting aside Sri Lanka with ease thanks to a blazing opening partnership between David Warner and skipper Aaron Finch.

But more often than not, they flatter to deceive. They sneaked past South Africa in their opener chasing a tiny total and were flogged by England by eight wickets in a brutal reality check to their title hopes.

On paper, Australia have one of the most talented squads at the tournament, yet they often look like a team in search of an identity. Still, they ought to overcome the West Indies and Bangladesh to make the semifinals – though you wouldn’t be your house on it.

Afghanistan tweaker Rashid Khan looms as a dangerman for New Zealand when the teams meet in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Aijaz Rahi/AP

Afghanistan tweaker Rashid Khan looms as a dangerman for New Zealand when the teams meet in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

6. Afghanistan (2-2)

Despite suffering a second Super 12 loss to India, Afghanistan remain in the hunt for an unlikely semifinal berth.

The Afghans were expected to take care of Scotland and Namibia without too much trouble, and that proved the case with the class of spin duo Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid Khan on full display.

It was their performance against a brilliant Pakistan side – losing in the penultimate over – that showed they’re not content to just make up the numbers. If they can replicate that showing against the Black Caps, there could be some nervy moments ahead for Kiwi cricket fans.

Indian captain Virat Kohli can’t hide his frustration as he watches Black Caps allrounder Daryl Mitchell find the boundary.

Aijaz Rahi/AP

Indian captain Virat Kohli can’t hide his frustration as he watches Black Caps allrounder Daryl Mitchell find the boundary.

7. India (1-2)

There were shades of England at the 2015 ODI World Cup in India’s dismal defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand, in that they appeared to be playing a different game to everyone else.

Captain Virat Kohli admitted as much, saying his side weren’t “brave enough with the bat or ball” against the Black Caps as they dawdled their way to a lacklustre 110-7 that was chased down with ease.

Kohli will have been pleased with the response against Afghanistan, as openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul finally fired to help India post the biggest total of the tournament so far. But it’s almost certainly too late for this star-studded Indian side to salvage their campaign and avoid an ignominious exit.

Andre Russell kept the West Indies’ hopes alive with a nervy win over Bangladesh, but qualification remains a long shot.

Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Andre Russell kept the West Indies’ hopes alive with a nervy win over Bangladesh, but qualification remains a long shot.

8. West Indies (1-2)

The defending champions are still alive – but only just. After two one-sided defeats to England and South Africa, the West Indies showed plenty of grit and determination to pip Bangladesh in a last over thriller.

But reaching the semifinals remains a tall order, particularly with their dismal net run rate after being bundled out for 55 by England.

Gun batter Chris Gayle looks a shadow of his former self at 42 and the lack of firepower in this Windies team has been apparent. Nothing less than two victories over Sri Lanka and Australia will do if they are to progress – and even that’s unlikely to be enough.

Spinner Wanindu Hasaranga has been in sensational form, claiming 14 wickets, including a hat-trick against South Africa.

Kamran Jebreili/AP

Spinner Wanindu Hasaranga has been in sensational form, claiming 14 wickets, including a hat-trick against South Africa.

9. Sri Lanka (1-3)

Already eliminated, 2014 champions Sri Lanka must be wondering how they’ve only managed a solitary win from their four Super 12 games.

After getting the better of Bangladesh in a spiky encounter, Sri Lanka were on top against both South Africa and England before a late implosion with the ball cost them.

Spinners Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana have been outstanding, with the former the leading wicket taker at the tournament with 14, including a hat-trick against the Proteas. But ultimately their seamers weren’t up to the task and that’s why they will be heading home early.

Craig Williams hits out as newcomers Namibia gave Pakistan a run for their money in a spirited 45-run loss in Abu Dhabi.

Aijaz Rahi/AP

Craig Williams hits out as newcomers Namibia gave Pakistan a run for their money in a spirited 45-run loss in Abu Dhabi.

10. Namibia (1-2)

With two points from their three games having beaten fellow newcomers Scotland, Namibia are remarkably still in the playoff mix – mathematically at least.

However, the chances of the African upstarts gatecrashing the semifinals are slim to say the least following successive defeats to Afghanistan and Pakistan. They would need to beat the Black Caps and India by a huge margin and rely on other results.

Nevertheless, coach Pierre De Bruyn and his team can hold their heads high after a valiant campaign in which they have proved no easybeats, pushing Pakistan hard with some fearless hitting.

Scotland batter Michael Leask plundered 42 from just 20 balls in an entertaining knock against the Black Caps in Dubai.

Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Scotland batter Michael Leask plundered 42 from just 20 balls in an entertaining knock against the Black Caps in Dubai.

11. Scotland (0-3)

Having humbled Bangladesh in the qualifiers, the Scots entered the Super 12 stage full of confidence. But their shortcomings were cruelly exposed by Afghanistan, skittled for just 60 in an embarrassing 130-run loss in Sharjah.

A comprehensive four-wicket defeat to Namibia in Abu Dhabi followed, the Scottish batters again misfiring as they stumbled their way to a modest 109-8, losing three wickets in four balls.

Some pride was restored in their gutsy 16-run loss to the Black Caps, in which Michael Leask plundered 42 from 20 balls. Though with India and Pakistan still to play, Scotland are likely to exit the tournament without any points on the board.

Bangladesh hardly fired a shot against South Africa as they were bundled out for 84 for a fourth successive Super 12 loss.

Aijaz Rahi/AP

Bangladesh hardly fired a shot against South Africa as they were bundled out for 84 for a fourth successive Super 12 loss.

12. Bangladesh (0-4)

The toothless Tigers barely put up a fight against South Africa as they slumped to a fourth successive defeat to end their interest in the competition. Bundled out for a paltry 84 runs, it was a limp effort from a injury-hit team missing star allrounder Shakib Al Hasan.

Earlier, Bangladesh had run both the West Indies and Sri Lanka close either side of a hammering by England but didn’t quite have the composure to get over the line.

While they may be out of playoff contention, the Tigers can still have a big say on who emerges from Group 1 should they upset Australia in Dubai on Thursday (NZT).

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