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Race to IPL playoffs: Who will it be – KKR, RR, MI or PBKS?

Three teams have qualified, one team out, while four teams are still in contention for a final playoff berth. This is how things stand in the last seven group league games of the IPL.

Thanks to their superior net run-rate, Kolkata Knight Riders have an advantage over their rivals in terms of finishing fourth in the table. However, they will have to win their final group league match against Rajasthan Royals for safety.

KKR

Matches Played 13, Marks-12, NRR – +0.29

They will play against the Royals and a win will take them into the top four. The other three chasing teams are lagging behind in terms of net run rate and need to win by a huge margin to beat KKR.

However, if KKR loses their last group game, both the Royals and Mumbai Indians will face a tight fight, with each team playing two more matches in the group league.

Mumbai Indians

Matches Played – 12, Points – 10, NRR – -0.45

The defending champions have struggled to reach their peak in this tenure. His next two matches are against Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad. So basically it makes it a direct fight between MI and Royals. The winning team will remain.

However, MI’s run-rate is still the worst among all the teams in contention. So realistically they have the only chance to win their next two matches and expect KKR to lose their last group league match.

Rajasthan Royals

Matches Played – 12, Points – 10, NRR – -0.33

His fate is in his hands. If Royals beat MI and KKR in their last two group games, they will be on 14 points and qualify for the playoffs. But losing one of them would make their job extremely difficult. If the four teams eventually finish on 12 points, they are unlikely to benefit from the Royals’ net run-rate.

Punjab Kings

Matches Played – 13, Points – 10, NRR – -0.24

Save a miracle, it seems impossible for the kings of Punjab. Their last match is against Chennai Super Kings and they have to win it by 70 runs and then hope to lose to KKR Royals by the same margin. Also, if no other team gets 14 points then they will be in contention.

Chennai Super Kings

Matches Played – 12, Points – 18, NRR – +0.82

Topping the table with the best net run-rate, CSK have to win one of their next two matches to finish in the top two and get a second bite on Cherry in the playoffs. The losers of Qualifier 1 will have another chance to advance to the final, with a second game against the winners of the Eliminator. Their next two group games are against Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings and even if they both lose, they can still be in the top two thanks to their run-rates.

Delhi Capitals

Matches Played – 12, Points – 18, NRR – +0.55

DC have also qualified and are on the verge of making the top two. Their next two matches are against CSK and Royal Challengers Bangalore and will have two more points but for them to finish in the top two.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Matches Played – 12, Points – 16, NRR – -0.15

RCB have also qualified. But to be in the top two teams, they have to win both their remaining group games against Sunrisers Hyderabad and DC. Due to their relatively poor net run-rate, they are likely to finish third even if they reach 20 points, unless either CSK or DC lose both their remaining group fixtures.

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Matches Played – 12, Points – 4, NRR – -0.47

It’s their race. But with their next two matches against RCB and Mumbai, they can affect the playoff equation.

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