RCB well-placed in play-offs' race

RCB well-placed in play-offs' race

Interesting scenarios exist

RCB well-placed in play-offs' race

The resurgence of the Royal Challengers Bangalore towards the business end of the league has been the story of IPL-9.

Royal Challengers’ rivetting batting, led by skipper Virat Kohli and handsomely supported by AB de Villiers and the back-in-form Chris Gayle, has wowed the cricket followers across the world and revitalised their campaign that was headed nowhere, at least in the early part of their campaign.

After a topsy-turvy run for better part of the league that saw them rooted to 7th position in the 8-team league at one point, Royal Challengers have scripted a great turnaround with three wins in a row that has put them one win away from landing a place in the play-offs.

Direct shoot-out

With 14 points from 13 matches, Royal Challengers are in the top half of the points table but their final league match against Delhi Daredevils on Sunday in Raipur could turn out to be a direct shootout between the two sides for a spot in the last four.

A win against Daredevils would certainly help RCB progress to play-offs as no team -- other than Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Gujarat Lions -- has a chance to finish with more points than them; without of course taking into account what damage the elements can cause in the remaining matches.

The Lions’ (16 points) win over Knight Riders (14) on Thursday took Suresh Raina’s men closer to a play-offs’ berth and the result has led to a possibility where five teams can finish with 16 points.

Net run-rate factor

If RCB finish with 16 points by beating Daredevils, it is highly unlikely that KKR, who also will gather 16 if they beat SRH on Sunday, and Mumbai, who too will log 16 if they down Lions on Saturday, will overtake Bangalore when it comes to net run-rate (+0.93).

Kohli’s men can sneak through to the play-offs even if they lose their last tie against Daredevils.

For that though they will need other results to go their way. For RCB to go through with 14 points, they need Sunrisers to beat Daredevils (12 points) on Friday and KKR on Sunday and Lions to get the better of Mumbai (14) on Saturday.

In that case, it will leave RCB, Daredevils, Mumbai and KKR with 14 points each, a scenario in which the Bengaluru outfit will fancy its chances as it enjoys a far superior net run rate.

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