Heading into the final set of matches in the 12th edition of Indian Premier League, the race for playoffs is still very much on. The first team to qualify for the knockouts (surprise, surprise) was Chennai Super Kings. The team to follow the defending champions (a surprise, for real) was Delhi Capitals, who will be in the playoffs after a gap of six seasons.
Mumbai Indians, as many expected, sealed their place in the top four with one game left — a Super Over win against SRH taking them into the playoffs.
Here’s a look at the scenarios for how the battle for the final spot is shaping up.
(Note: This article will be updated daily till all four teams are confirmed for the elimination stage)
(NRR: Net Run-Rate)
Chennai Super Kings (Qualified)
Points: 18 after 13 games
Remaining matches: vs KXIP (Away)
After defeating DC at home, a top two finish is all but ensured for the defending champions, if they avoid a big defeat in Mohali. Win against KXIP is enough to seal top spot to ensure CSK play the Qualifer 1 at home.
Delhi Capitals (18 points) have temporarily displaced MI from second place. Should MI win against KKR and CSK lose against KXIP, there will a three-way tie at the top on 18 points, with NRR likely to favour CSK and MI. Dhoni and Co will do well to avoid losing by more than 40 runs if batting first, for instance.
Delhi Capitals (Qualified)
Points: 18 after 14 games
Delhi’s campaign is over after a comfortable win over RR but the margin was not big enough to go past CSK’s NRR. As mentioned above, a three-way tie at the top is still possible which is not good news for DC who have the worst run-rate among the three teams. DC will finish in top two should KKR beat MI later in the day.
Mumbai Indians (Qualified)
Points: 16 after 13 games
Remaining matches: vs KKR (Home)
As many predicted, MI are guaranteed a place in the business end of the tournament. Should they win their last match, a top-two finish is guaranteed.
Points: 12 after 14 games
The 2018 runners-up have struggled for consistency and David Warner’s departure has not helped their case. While a win in either of their last two matches would have been sufficient, SRH have ended up losing both and are now left hoping for a Mumbai win against KKR. SRH can create history should KKR lose, by becoming the first team to qualify with 12 points.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Points: 12 after 13 games
Remaining matches: vs MI (Away)
A few results had to go their away for KKR to arrive at this point with their fate in their control. This was the scenario heading into the final weekend – “if SRH lose against RCB, RR lose against DC and KXIP lose to CSK, then KKR will progress with just a win in the final league match at Wankhede.”
And that has come true for Dinesh Karthik’s men, who do not have to worry about any NRR scenario and just go out, play to win. Their tournament will be over if they lost to MI, as SRH have the better NRR to progress on 12 points.
Kings XI Punjab
Points: 10 after 13 games
Remaining matches: vs CSK (Home)
If R Ashwin and Co had managed to win against SRH in Hyderabad, they could have been in a wonderful position with two home games to close out the season. Instead, their lives got a whole lot harder especially due to the NRR beating handed down by David Warner’s farewell innings.
And after the defeat against KKR, Punjab are left hoping for a miraculous win against CSK. According to ESPNCricinfo, KXIP will need a victory margin of around 250 runs to surpass Sunrisers’ net run-rate.
(Clarification: The original version of the article said KXIP play match 56, but they play match 55. MI v KKR is the final match of league phase.)
Rajasthan Royals (Eliminated)
Points: 11 after 14 games
Eliminated after defeat to Delhi Capitals.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (Eliminated)
Points: 11 after 14 games
Remaining matches: vs SRH (Home)
With rain resulting in points shared with Rajasthan Royals, Virat Kohli and Co’s tournament was officially over. But they managed to put a dent in Sunrisers’ campaign and exacted revenge of sorts for the beat down handed to them in Hyderabad earlier in the season.