Six teams still in fray for play-offs

Six teams still in fray for play-offs

Delhi Capitals' slump in form has given hopes to other teams in the race for the play-offs. Credit: Sportzpics, BCCI

We are six games away from play-offs of the Indian Premier League and yet, only one team has progressed to the last four stage. Mumbai Indians became the first team to qualify for the play-offs of the 13th edition, after the already-eliminated Chennai Super Kings’ last-ball victory against Kolkata Knight Riders on Thursday. 

Mumbai have 16 points with two games remaining. Even if the defending champions lose their remaining games, they could still be among the top two teams due to two reasons: their healthy Net Run Rate (NRR) and the fact that only one team (either Royal Challengers Bangalore or Delhi Capitals) can go past them to 18 points. 

That apart, as many as six are in the fray to seal the remaining three slots. DH takes a look at what each team needs to enter knockouts. 

KINGS XI PUNJAB  

After their loss to Rajasthan Royals on Friday, their final round-robin game against CSK is a must-win for Punjab. That will see them finish with 14 points. KXIP will then have to hope for other results to go their way. Most importantly, they would want Sunrisers Hyderabad, who have a superior run-rate (+0.396), to lose their last two matches. In case of a tie with Rajasthan Royals and KKR on 14 points, Punjab could go through if they can enhance NRR. 

RAJASTHAN ROYALS  

They have kept themselves in the race by beating Punjab on Friiday. But their poor NRR is still a concern. Royals will have to beat KKR in their final game and hope KXIP lose to CSK and SRH to lose at least one of their remaining two matches. Or they will have to post a big win in a case of a four-way tie at 14.   

RCB

Just one win will do it for the Challengers. Two straight wins will be even better for Virat Kohli’s men as they will earn a top-two finish. RCB have hope in the worst case scenario of staying stuck on 14 points due to defeats in the upcoming two matches. In such a case, other results will have to go in their favour. But if RCB lose the next two and get into a battle of NRR, it can get difficult for them.   

DELHI CAPITALS 

Their slump in form has given hopes to other teams in the race. But Capitals, like RCB, just need a win to seal the play-offs spot. Having lost three on the bounce, it’s easier said than done, especially when your opponents are Mumbai Indians and RCB. Twin defeats will put them in the NRR battle and that could even pull curtains on their campaign.  

KKR

KKR will go to 14 points if they win their last game against Royals. They can, however, progress only if their NRR gets superior to KXIP and SRH provided the last two too end up with 14 from their remaining matches.  

SUNRISERS HYDERABAD 

Warner’s men have the daunting task of having to beat RCB and MI to stay in contention. If they win two, NRR shouldn’t be an issue as they are better placed compared to KXIP, RR, and Kolkata Knight Riders on that front.