Qualification Scenario: Why Kolkata and Rajasthan have a better chance to make the cut

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27 Sep 2021 | 05:15 AM
authorcricket.com staff

Qualification Scenario: Why Kolkata and Rajasthan have a better chance to make the cut

With some unexpected performances post resumption, the battle for a playoff spot has heated up

Note: There are 32,768 possible combinations of the final points table possible with 15 games to go. For easier understanding, we will not be looking into the Net Run-Rate (NRR) level analysis and try and assess how teams can qualify by being the master of their own result and not allowing NRR to affect their chances.

CSK and DC

Both Chennai and Delhi have continued from where they left off. Though there still remains a formality of a “Q” being added to their name, but with 16 points in 10 games, they are nearly there. Whenever IPL has been an eight team event, never has a team with 16 points failed to qualify. 

With four more games to go, their target is the top-two spot and not just qualification. Every side that has lifted the trophy since 2017 finished in the top two. Both Chennai and Delhi will be disappointed if they do not go on to play Qualifier 1.

RCB

Current Points: 12

Remaining Fixtures: 

v RR, Dubai, Sep 29
v PBKS, Sharjah, Oct 3
v SRH, Abu Dhabi, Oct 6
v DC, Dubai, Oct 8

A win against Mumbai has given the Royal Challengers Bangalore breathing space between them and the closest contenders. It also helped them break an unwanted losing streak in UAE. To reach 16, they now need to win two out of their remaining four games. Three of these are against sides who are below them on the points table. 

If they get on a roll, they can even eye a top two finish, especially with their final game against Delhi that can be sort of a decider for the same. 

KKR

Current Points: 8

Remaining Fixtures: 

v DC, Sharjah, Sep 28
v PBKS, Dubai, Oct 1
v SRH, Dubai, Oct 3
v RR, Sharjah, Oct 7

The Kolkata Knight Riders have turned up as a side in a different mood. Their performance has been the highlight of the first week. It has broken the monotonicity of the league has thrown up different possibilities in the playoff race.

To reach the safe haven of 16 points, KKR need to win all their remaining games. Starting with the toughest one against Delhi in Sharjah. However, their positive approach has implied that they are the only side of the bottom six to have a positive net run rate. If it comes down to teams clubbed together with 14 points for the remaining spots, Kolkata have an advantage but that would be cutting it too fine for their liking.

PBKS

Current Points: 8

Remaining Fixtures: 

v MI, Abu Dhabi, Sep 28
v KKR, Dubai, Oct 1
v RCB, Sharjah, Oct 3
v CSK, Dubai, Oct 7

Failing to score eight runs in the last two overs against Rajasthan, Punjab provided the biggest choke of the season. For them to not let it come back to haunt them, they need to win all their remaining games.

Their next game against Mumbai will be a virtual knockout for the two sides. Punjab have a tough game against CSK to finish their campaign as well, so all their focus would be on the three encounters before the Chennai contest.

RR

Current Points: 8

Remaining Fixtures:
v SRH, Dubai, Sep 27
v RCB, Dubai, Sep 29
v CSK, Abu Dhabi, Oct 2
v MI, Sharjah, Oct 5
v KKR, Sharjah, Oct 7

Rajasthan are the only team in the bottom five with a luxury of a game in hand. For 16 points, they need to win four out of their remaining five games. If they can manage to keep Hyderabad at bay in their game later today, they will mathematically stand favourites to clinch the fourth spot but funnier things have happened in the IPL.

MI

Current Points: 8

Remaining Fixtures:

v PBKS, Abu Dhabi, Sep 28
v DC, Sharjah, Oct 2
v RR, Sharjah, Oct 5
v SRH, Abu Dhabi, Oct 8

Key players being out of touch and losses in all three games after resumption. There is a growing feeling that this might not be Mumbai’s year. However, they have been in situations in the past and have come out on top with flying colours. As things stand, they will need to win all their remaining fixtures to get to 16 points. 

With their low net run rate, 14 points might not be enough unless they turn their fortunes around and start thumping their opponents.

SRH

With only two points from the nine games, the Sunrisers can at max attain 12 points by winning all their remaining games. It will not be enough to give them a spot in the top four. It will be the first time since 2016 when they will fail to do so, end of an era for the Sunrisers. 

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Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan RoyalsIndian Premier League, 2021

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