World Cup

World Cup finals scenarios in detail

The pool stage is over, the final eight teams are locked in. It's time to draw a quick breath before the business end of the tournament

Laura Jolly

16 March 2015, 12:24 AM AEST

All four World Cup quarter-finals have been now confirmed, with Pakistan’s victory over Ireland setting up a clash with Australia in Adelaide on Friday.

There is now a two-day hiatus in World Cup action before the quarter-finals start on Wednesday, where South Africa will attempt to win their first ever World Cup elimination game when they play Sri Lanka in Sydney.

Defending champions India take on Bangladesh in Melbourne, while New Zealand’s unbeaten run will be tested by West Indies in Wellington.

A reserve day has been scheduled for each of the seven knock-out matches, the day following the original schedule. If either a quarter-final or semi-final is tied, abandoned or there is no result possible on the main day or the reserve day, then the team finishing higher in the pool stage progresses.

In the case of a tied final, a super over will be played. However, if both the designated day and reserve day are washed out, the finalists will be declared joint winners.

Here is a look at the quarter-final match-ups:

Wednesday, March 18: Sri Lanka v South Africa, Sydney Cricket Ground

South Africa have never won a knockout match at a World Cup and they will need to overcome the likes of in-form Kumar Sangakkara, and prevent him from scoring a fifth straight World Cup century, to do so on Wednesday.

This will be a clash of the big-hitters; when AB de Villiers played at the SCG against West Indies earlier in the tournament, he scored the fastest 150 in ODI history.

Sangakkara has also scored a century on the ground this tournament, against Australia last Sunday.

The winner will meet either New Zealand or West Indies in a semi-final at Eden Park.

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Thursday, March 19: India v Bangladesh, Melbourne Cricket Ground

India have won 10 World Cup games in a row and will head into this match heavy favourites.

But Bangladesh will be full of confidence after beating England and pushing New Zealand on Friday night. If Mohammad Mahmudullah can score a third century in a row, anything could happen.

The winner will meet either Australia or Pakistan in a semi-final at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

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Friday, March 20: Australia v Pakistan, Adelaide Oval

Australia head to Adelaide for the first time this World Cup, so expect plenty of local support for the host nation.

Pakistan have improved significantly since losing to India and West Indies in the early stages of the tournament and their bowlers in particular have been in excellent form.

They will also be reasonably familiar with the conditions – the quarter-final will be their third match at the South Australia venue.

However, Australia do hold the psychological advantage after securing a 3-0 series win in one-day internationals against Pakistan in the UAE in October.

Incredible as it seems now, Mitchell Starc was left out for the first two games of that series before returning in the third for the rested Mitchell Johnson in what turned out to be a memorable one-run win secured when Glenn Maxwell bowled a double-wicket maiden 50th over in Abu Dhabi.

Pakistan's bowlers they will need to be at their best to stop Australia’s batsmen, while their batting line-up has looked shaky and unsettled through the pool matches and will not relish coming up against the likes of a rejuvenated Starc and Mitchell Johnson.

The winner will play either India or Bangladesh in a semi-final at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

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Saturday, March 21: New Zealand v West Indies, Wellington

New Zealand will aim to keep their unbeaten run intact against West Indies in Wellington.

The Black Caps were tested by Bangladesh on Friday and will be better for the experience, while West Indies’ topsy-turvy form throughout the tournament means anything could happen.

West Indies will hope Chris Gayle returns after he missed the United Arab Emirates match with a back injury.

The winner will play either South Africa or Sri Lanka in a semi-final at Eden Park. Should the Black Caps make it all the way to the final, the MCG showpiece will be their only match on foreign soil as co-hosts of the tournament.

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