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Revealed: How RCB can still qualify for the playoffs

Last updated on 09 May 2024 | 06:46 PM
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Revealed: How RCB can still qualify for the playoffs

We look at what needs to happen in the last 11 games for RCB to enter the final four

It’s always better late than never, and Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) are making one hell of a late charge towards the back end of the 2024 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

RCB looked dead and buried after losing seven of their first eight matches but have stormed back into playoff contention by winning four on the bounce. Their latest victory, against Punjab Kings (PBKS) on April 9 (Thursday), has officially knocked PBKS out of playoff contention.

So, what do RCB’s playoff chances look like? What do they need to do in order to make it to the final four?

RCB qualification scenario breakdown

Points accumulated - 10

Remaining fixtures - Delhi Capitals (H), Chennai Super Kings (H)

Maximum points they can get to - 14

Current Net Run Rate - +0.217

Here’s the most straightforward way for RCB to make it to the playoffs:

> CSK lose to GT & RR

> RCB beat DC at Chinnaswamy 

> LSG lose at least one of their remaining two games (preferably against MI)

> RCB beat CSK at Chinnaswamy on the penultimate day of the group stages 

Should all the above happen, then:

RCB will be on 14 points, both DC & LSG will be on either 12 or 14 points and CSK will be on 12 points

RCB will then qualify as the fourth-placed side by virtue of having a better Net Run Rate

What if CSK beat either GT or RR?

In this scenario, CSK will be guaranteed to finish on 14 points, and it’ll be a three-way tie between RCB, CSK and DC/LSG. Since CSK currently have the best NRR among the three (+0.700), RCB will have to thump the Super Kings at Chinnaswamy and also hope that Ruturaj Gaikwad’s men suffer at least one heavy defeat in their remaining two games. Alternatively, RCB can also take their NRR over CSK by hammering DC at the Chinnaswamy. 

What if CSK beat both GT and RR?

Then CSK will be out of RCB’s reach because they’ll get to 16 points. In which case, RCB will have to turn their attention to SRH. 

SRH are already on 14 points, so the only way RCB can finish above SRH is if Pat Cummins’ men lose both their remaining fixtures (vs GT & PBKS) and RCB beat both DC & CSK fairly handsomely. As it stands, SRH (+0.406) have a better NRR than RCB (+0.217) but the Sunrisers are by no means out of reach. 

Two handsome wins for RCB and a moderately heavy defeat for SRH will ensure that RCB’s NRR goes above that of SRH. 

Just to be clear, RCB will want LSG to lose at least one of their remaining two matches in this scenario as well. If that happens, then:

RCB will find themselves in a three-way tie with SRH and LSG/DC. They will progress if they can get their NRR above SRH. 

What if one of RCB’s remaining two games ends in a no result?

Then they’ll be a gone case just like PBKS and MI. It’s near-impossible for RCB to qualify with 13 points because three teams are already on 14, and the winner of DC-LSG will also move to 14.

If one of RCB’s remaining two games ends in a washout, then the only way they’ll be in contention is if DC-LSG also ends in a washout. But if both RCB-DC and LSG-DC end in a washout then RCB will be knocked out because that will mean DC — who are already on 12 points — will move to 14 and will be beyond RCB’s reach.

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