Zimbabwe on the rise

12 July 2017 04:05:55 EST

Zimbabwe have climbed to within two points of Afghanistan in the one-day rankings following their shock 3-2 away win over Sri Lanka.

Graeme Cremer's 11th-placed team have also opened up a chink of light for West Indies in the automatic qualification process for the 2015 World Cup.

West Indies looked certain to have to go into the tournament's qualifying round prior to the series with the Sri Lankans needing to win their home series 4-1.

And in all probability they will still have to but Sri Lanka's drop of five rankings points leaves just 10 between the two former world champions in the battle for eighth place.

It would have been an even narrower deficit had Jason Holder's Windies managed to halve their home series with India.

But failure to pull that score back to 2-2 (they lost 3-1) means they are now depending on a heavy Indian win over the Sri Lankans next month to keep their hopes alive.

Sri Lanka can guarantee a top-eight place by the September 30 qualification cut-off by winning two of the five matches between the Asian rivals.

If India beats Sri Lanka 4-1, then West Indies will have to whitewash England in September.

But, if India sweeps all five ODIs against Sri Lanka, then the West Indies will need to beat England by 4-0 or better.

The two final places at the 10-team 2019 World Cup in England will be filled by the top two from the 2018 qualifiers, which will include 10th-placed Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Ireland, in 12th, plus six associate nations.

Meanwhile Zimbabwe are 100/1 to win the 2019 World Cup, while India are 9/2 to take the title.

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