For Ireland and Pakistan, going into their final match of Pool B at this ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, it is really simple – win and go through to the quarterfinals – while West Indies must win, and then hope one of those two teams do them a favour.
Pakistan vs Ireland promises to be a thrilling contest not just via the play on the field, but courtesy nerves and permutations and combinations, so often a vital part of the game in big tournaments.
At the core of it, it is simple enough for Pakistan and Ireland – win their match in Adelaide, the final one of the group stages at this World Cup, and they can start thinking about who they will face in the quarters. But, go a little further on and it get a little more complicated.
For Ireland, a victory is essential if West Indies beat the UAE – a win for Jason Holder's men is not so cut and dry, as rain is set to play a major role in Napier. If West Indies lose or if their match is rained out/tied then both Ireland and Pakistan go through as they have two points more than the team from the Caribbean, and a tie only gives you one point.
However, if West Indies, weather permitting, get the better of UAE, then it puts Ireland in a must-win situation, as the Irish team's net run rate is by far the lowest and impossible to improve with a loss, no matter how close.
Pakistan have a chance even if they lose to Ireland and West Indies beat UAE, as their net run rate, as things stand at the moment, is the best of the lot.
Ireland have a net run rate of -1.014, West Indies with -0.511 and Pakistan have the best in -0.194. So, even if Pakistan fail to get over the line against Ireland, they still have a pretty good chance of qualifying as the fourth-placed team courtesy that net run rate.
They must, first, hope, West Indies don't absolutely smash the UAE – something that is quite possible – which propels their net run rate over Pakistan's, and then ensure they don't fall down miserably against Ireland.
The way Pakistan have been playing in their last few matches, that does look unlikely, but they will know Ireland are capable of beating them in a close contest.
So, it will come down to how big the West Indies win – say, if they beat UAE by 75-100 runs or with 15 overs to spare – which will then virtually make it winner-take-all battle between Pakistan and Ireland.