IPL playoff qualification scenarios: SRH, RR still in hunt, KXIP on the verge
While Chennai Super Kings have been eliminated and Mumbai Indians have qualified for the playoffs, the remaining six franchises are still caught up in a tussle for three playoff spots.
Chennai Super Kings may have been the first team to be eliminated from IPL 2020 but CSK ensured that they did not leave the tournament without showing some spark.
Kolkata Knight Riders' 8-wicket loss to Kings XI Punjab in the second-last match meant that they had to win both their remaining matches in order to qualify for the playoffs. With their 6-wicket defeat to Chennai Super Kings, they have now given away the decision from their hands.
Although the team still has a slim chance of making it to the playoffs, it will happen only if they manage to win their last match by a huge margin. They also need their competitors to not fare well.
With Kolkata Knight Riders' defeat, Mumbai Indians, with 16 points after 8 wins and 4 losses from 12 matches, have officially qualified to the playoffs.
Here's a look at the qualification scenarios for the competing franchises:
Kolkata Knight Riders
The Knight Riders have not served themselves with defeats in both their last two games. The team is with 12 points after 13 matches and will play their last group match against Rajasthan Royals, who are more or less in the same boat as KKR.
KKR can now reach only 14 points. They can still qualify to the playoffs if their net run rate is good, but for that, they will need Kings XI Punjab to lose both their matches while Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad should not win more than one.
Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab's rise in the second half of IPL 2020 has been inspirational. They were languishing at the bottom of the points table for a long time with successive defeats and looked almost certain to end with a wooden spoon. However, their fortunes changed, for which skipper KL Rahul and head coach Anil Kumble deserve a lot of credit.
Punjab have now won five matches in a row and have climbed to the fourth spot in the points table. If they manage to win both their remaining matches, they are certain to qualify for the playoffs and might also end in the top two. Even if they win one of their games, their net run rate being better then KKR, gives them an opportunity to still qualify.
Rajasthan Royals are with 10 points after 12 matches and have a net run rate of -0.505. This means that they will have to beat their competitors on points rather than hoping for a miracle.
To begin with, they will have to win both their remaining matches. If Chennai Super Kings beat Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad lose one of their remaining two games, Rajasthan Royals can make it to the playoffs.
SRH are more or less in a similar position as that of Rajasthan Royals with 10 points from 12 matches. If they win their remaining two games, they would then need at least one of Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Capitals or Kings XI Punjab to not reach 16, so that they can sneak in at the fourth place.
Courtesy of Kolkata Knight Riders' defeat to Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians have already qualified to the playoffs with 16 points. Even if they lose their remaining two matches, they are likely to finish in the top two due to their excellent net run rate.
The reason behind this is that the other two competitors for the top two, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore, are set to face each other and only the winner of the match can finish on 18 points.
Delhi Capitals have found themselves in a bit of a rut after losing each of their last three matches. However, the good work that they have done in the past will serve them to seal a playoff berth if they manage to win just one more game out of the remaining two.
If they manage to win both of them, they are guaranteed a top two finish. However, given that their remaining two matches are against best performing teams in the tournament, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore, a top two finish would be a tough ask.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Like Delhi capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore are with 14 points after 12 matches with 7 wins and 5 losses. Defeats in their last two matches have stalled Bangalore's rise but even one more win in the remaining two matches will see them through to the playoffs.
Wins in both their remaining matches will set up a Qualifier 1 clash against Mumbai Indians for RCB.
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