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Eye on run rate, England focus on task at hand: Wins over Oman, Namibia must to qualify for Super 8

There is a troubling scenario where if they are still short of Scotland’s net run-rate, the Scots — who play Australia on Sunday — would know by how much they could afford to lose and remain ahead of England, while Australia would also know by how much they could win but still knock England out

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 13.06.24, 10:41 AM
England captain Jos Buttler

England captain Jos Buttler File picture

England meet Oman in the T20 World Cup on Thursday at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua, where they will need a win to stay in with a chance of qualifying for the Super 8. However, rain could hamper their efforts.

Following a washout against Scotland and loss to Australia, England must beat Oman and Namibia to have any hope of finishing second in group B and reaching the Super 8 stage of the competition.

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Even then, however, there is a troubling scenario where if they are still short of Scotland’s net run-rate, the Scots — who play Australia on Sunday — would know by how much they could afford to lose and remain ahead of England, while Australia would also know by how much they could win but still knock England out.

England captain Jos Buttler says he and his team must not be “consumed” by the net run-rate scenarios that are likely to hold the key to their World Cup survival.

“I don’t think it’s s*** or bust quite yet,” Buttler said. “It’s clear what we need to do and how we need to play. We need to win the game against Oman to have any chance of going forward.

“So we have to earn the right — if we can get ourselves in a position to affect our net run-rate, obviously that’s what we need to do.

“We have to be aware of the need to boost net run-rate, but not be consumed by that. If we try to do that bit first and forget about trying to win, you’ve got no chance anyway.

“We’ve looked at a few bits but it’s going to be ever-changing throughout the game, so we don’t think we need to consume too much energy... saying we need to score X amount of runs. Those kinds of things will develop on the day.

“We see it as a challenge, the situation we find ourselves in. We’re not daunted by it.

“We see it as an exciting opportunity to do something special if we get it right. Going into the latter stages, that would give us tremendous confidence.”

There is a feeling that England need to win their matches on Thursday and Saturday by a combined margin of about 100 runs to lift their run-rate above Scotland’s, but even that may not be enough. “We know we play two games before they play, so obviously there’s an advantage in that situation (to Scotland) but we’re quite comfortable at the moment,” Buttler remarked.

Buttler has warned his teammates not to fret about the net run-rate, but to concentrate on victory.

“There’s a realism that we’ve only had one-and-a-quarter games. It’s easy to say we’re in a tough position, but we haven’t played loads. There’s still lots of confidence in the group. We see it as a chance to do something special if we get it right.”

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