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ICC World Cup Quarterfinals: SL v SA, IND v BAN, AUS v PAK, NZ v WI

Wins for West Indies and Pakistan on the last day of the pool stage booked them the last two spots for the knockout rounds beginning March 18.

Jaspreet Sahni |Cricketnext |March 15, 2015, 4:28 PM IST
ICC World Cup Quarterfinals: SL v SA, IND v BAN, AUS v PAK, NZ v WI

It was a nervous Sunday in Pakistan and the Caribbean islands. A World Cup quarter-final place was at stake; more so, an embarrassing first-round exit hung like an axe centimetres away from the neck.

Will the day end with heads hanging in shame or sunk peacefully on a pillow with an objective achieved? Option B was on every Pakistani and West Indian mind, while Option A continuously gave birth to new ifs and buts.

On the other end of that was an Irish dream. Not that they haven't done enough this World Cup, but a place in the quarters could have pushed Ireland cricket that much closer to attaining a Full Member status with the ICC.

In the end, though, it was celebration in the Test camps only, with warm hugs exchanged for avoiding a situation that threatened to ruin many careers.

Pakistan and West Indies are in the quarter-finals of the 2015 ICC World Cup, joining the other six Test nations there. But that's not a reason for any shame whatsoever for any of the four Qualifiers - with their challenge superbly led by Ireland.

The Irish breathed down the neck of Pakistan and West Indies until the last day of the pool stage. They have every reason to be proud of what they achieved - wins over two-time World Cup winners West Indies, Test minnows Zimbabwe and fellow Associates UAE.

But it wasn't a fairytale Sunday for them, when they saw fireworks in the neighbourhood from the roof of their house after losing in a shootout at Adelaide.

Before Pakistan and Ireland locked horns, it was the turn of West Indies breaking sweat against the UAE. However, the Windies weren't required to shed much weight in beating UAE by six-wickets and ensure that only a highly unlikely tie between Pakistan and Ireland can keep them out of the last-eight bracket.

But as results stood, West Indies beat UAE by 6 wickets to edge Ireland on net run rate and Pakistan brushed Ireland aside by 7 wickets to sneak into the knockout round.

STANDINGS:

Pool A: New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh (quarter-finalists), England, Afghanistan, Scotland

Pool B: India, South Africa, Pakistan and West Indies (quarter-finalists), Ireland, Zimabwe, UAE

QUARTER-FINALS LINE-UP:

South Africa vs Sri Lanka: March 18, 9 am IST, Sydney Cricket Ground

India vs Bangladesh: March 19, 9 am IST, Melbourne Cricket Ground

Australia vs Pakistan: March 20, 9 am IST, Adelaide Oval

New Zealand vs West Indies: March 21, 6:30 am IST, Wellington

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
see more