Note: There are 2,048 possible combinations of the final points table possible with 11 games to go. For easier understanding, we have prioritised the scenarios where Net Run-Rate (NRR) will not be an issue.
It is certain that at least four teams will finish with 14 or more points. Hence, CSK are officially out of the tournament as they can be at maximum 12 points even after winning their remaining two games. Thus ends their rich legacy of never being out in the league stage itself.
MI, DC and RCB
Before the weekend rush on October 24 and 25, the top-3 sides seemed well placed on the points table. The fight between them looked like that of finishing in the top-2. As it turned out, all of them lost their respective fixtures and are stuck at 14 points as of now.
Since they are yet to play each other, atleast one of them will end up with 16 points or more. Whenever IPL has been an eight-team event, never has a team with 16 points failed to qualify.
Apart from playing each other, all of them are yet to play against SRH as well. Depending on the results of these games, any of these sides can be stuck at 16, while the other two are at 18 or more.
In that scenario, for NRR to not become an issue, they would hope that KKR loses two out their remaining three games or KXIP loses one of their remaining three. In that case, only one of these two sides will be at 16.
There can also be a case when anyone of MI, DC and RCB loses all the three remaining games and remain at 14 points. A qualification from there will become very tricky.
If that becomes a case, then two out of these three will end up being at 16 or more points and will be through. To ensure that the side that loses all qualifies at 14, it will have to fight with KKR, KXIP, SRH and RR for the last two spots.
Looking at the remaining fixtures, atleast two of KKR, RR or KXIP will be 14 as well. Also, SRH can be at 14 by winning all games from here. Hence, if any of MI, DC or RCB lose all games from here, only a good NRR can help them qualify to the playoffs. This puts MI at an advantage as their NRR is considerably above the other two, while RCB’s NRR is just a tad above zero.
Current Points: 12
v KXIP, Sharjah, Oct 26
v CSK, Dubai, Oct 29
v RR, Dubai, Nov 1
After a win against DC, KKR are well placed at fourth with 12 points from 11 games. If they manage to win all their remaining games, they will qualify with 18 points.
If they manage to win two of their last three games, then on paper KXIP can also end with 16 points. Hence, if KKR win two out of three, they should not lose to KXIP to boost their chances. Or, they should hope that KXIP lose one out of their remaining three games. If either of the top-3 teams lose all their games, it will also ascertain KKR’s playoff spot if they reach 16 points.
If KKR win one out of the remaining three, it gets tougher. In that case, they can qualify only with the help of a good NRR. Since KKR, KXIP and RR face each other, even if KKR finishes at 14 points, any one or both of KXIP and RR can finish with 14 points as well. This is in addition to the top-3 teams who are at 14 points already.
Also, SRH can too compete with 14 by winning all their remaining games. Hence a good NRR is the only possible option for KKR to qualify with 14 points.
KKR’s most important fixture of the remaining matches is against KXIP in Sharjah on October 26.
Current Points: 10
v KKR, Sharjah, Oct 26
v RR, Abu Dhabi, Oct 30
v CSK, Abu Dhabi, Nov 1
KXIP have stormed back into the tournament with four consecutive victories. They are currently fifth with 10 points in 11 games.
To be safe, they should win all the remaining games. Even then, KKR can finish with 16 points as well. Hence, their hope will be for KKR to lose at least two out of their remaining three games. Or, anyone of the top-3 losing all their games will see KXIP through as well.
If KXIP win two, things will be tricky for them. However, unlike KKR, they do not have to be at the mercy of NRR on all possible scenarios for qualifying at 14. KXIP can qualify at 14 if KKR loses all their three games from here and SRH loses one of their remaining three.
However, the only loss KXIP can afford from here on is against CSK, if they do not want NRR to be an issue at 14 points.
As mentioned above, KKR v KXIP on October 26 is crucial to game for both sides. It is even more so for KXIP, if they do not want NRR to an issue for qualification at 14 points
Current Points: 8
v DC, Dubai, Oct 27
v RCB, Sharjah, Oct 31
v MI, Sharjah, Nov 3
After a heart-breaking loss against KXIP, SRH are stuck at 8 points. Their remaining fixtures are against the top-3 sides. Each game is a do or die encounter for them.
Even If SRH win all the three, they will finish with 14 points. Apart from the top-3, who are 14 already, either of KKR, KXIP and RR will end up with 14 or more points for sure. Hence, the only way they can qualify at 14 is through a better NRR. However, the positive for them is that they have the best NRR among the bottom five teams which will improve if they win all.
Current Points: 10
v KXIP, Abu Dhabi, Oct 30
v KKR, Dubai, Nov 1
The Royals pulled off an empathic victory against MI on the night of October 25. But, it goes without saying that RR need to win all of their remaining three games to be alive in the tournament. Even then do, they are at the mercy of results in other games. But, unlike KKR and SRH, they have a scenario where NRR will not be an issue.
For them to qualify at 14 without NRR being an issue, KKR should lose three out of three, KXIP two out of three and SRH one of three. Their best hope right now is for CSK to spoil the party for KKR and KXIP.