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Cricket news - Qualification scenarios: Four-way race for last playoff berth
Nearing the final weekend of the 12th season of IPL, three teams have booked off their playoff spots and four teams are in contention for the remaining one with RCB being the only side standing eliminated. Five matches remain and here's what teams must do to reach the final four and, those who have already qualified, to finish in top-two.
Chennai Super Kings - Qualified
Remaining fixtures: vs KXIP (A), 5 May
With 18 points from 13 games, CSK sit comfortably at the top of the points table. If they win their last league game, they are assured of a top-two spot and the playoff game at home. They can finish top two even if they lose to KXIP provided either or both of MI and DC lose their last game. If CSK lose to KXIP and both MI and DC win their final game, there will be a three-way tie on 18 points and NRR will decide which two teams finish top-two.
Mumbai Indians - Qualified
Remaining fixtures: vs KKR (H), 5 May
MI have entered the knockouts following a Super Over win over SRH in their penultimate game of the league phase. A healthy NRR of +0.321 means a win of any magnitude will most likely help them to gain a top-two spot. If they lose to KKR in their last game and DC beat RR, MI will be pushed to the third spot. However, a negative NRR for DC means a low magnitude defeat to KKR will help MI to finish ahead of DC should both sides lose their respective last league games.
Delhi Capitals - Qualified
Remaining fixtures: vs RR (H), 4 May
DC have managed to qualify to the knockouts for the first time in seven years but a heavy defeat in Chennai has put an opportunity for a top two finish in jeopardy. Unlike MI, a negative NRR impedes their probability of a top-two finish should they tie on points with one or more teams.
Remaining fixtures: vs RCB (A), 4 May
Unlike the other teams who are in contention for the playoff spot, SRH still have their fate in their own hands. Should they beat RCB in their last game, they could be tied on 14 points with the winner of the KXIP-KKR provided the winning team also goes on to win their final remaining league game as well [both KXIP and KKR have two each left]. But SRH's NRR being the highest among the eight teams, they are almost sure to progress in such a scenario.
They can even qualify if they lose narrowly to RCB provided RR lose to DC and neither KKR nor KXIP win more than one game each and KKR don't get their NRR past SRH's. In that case, SRH will be tied on 12 points with up to two other sides, and NRR will come into contention.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Remaining fixtures: vs KXIP (A), 3 May; vs MI (A), 5 May
For KKR to qualify on points, first they need win both their remaining matches. If they do, then they must hope SRH lose out against RCB. If SRH beat RCB and KKR beat both KXIP and MI, then both will be tied on 14 points each and NRR will decide who goes through. As things stand, SRH's NRR reads +0.653 and KKR's +0.100.
Should DC beat RR, SRH lose to RCB and both KKR and KXIP finish with one wins each, all three sides will be tied on 12 points each and NRR will dictate who goes through.
Kings XI Punjab
Remaining fixtures: vs KKR (H), 3 May; vs CSK (H), 5 May
The equation for KXIP is like that of KKR, who they face on Friday in Mohali before facing the table toppers CSK on Sunday. However, unlike KKR the NRR of KXIP read a dismal -0.296 which put a higher onus on RCB defeating SRH along with their own two wins. The three-way tie on 12 points is applicable for them also but their NRR is comfortably the worst among the three tied teams which could hamper their further progress.
Remaining fixtures: vs DC (A), 4 May
For RR to qualify, the only possible scenario is - beat DC, hope SRH lose to RCBand that neither KKR nor KXIP win more than one of their remaining two games.
Should all the above three results happen, RR will end with 13 points, SRH with 12 while KKR and KXIP can finish with a maximum of 12 points each.
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