The IPL 2017 is about to enter the play-offs stage and undecided spots have set-up a very exciting end to the league stages. Thanks to Kings XI Punjab’s run in their last two games, where they registered convincing wins over KKR and Mumbai Indians, has left everyone guessing. Mumbai Indians are safe with 18 points while KKR, with 16 points and a game to play and a healthy run-rate, are all but assured a spot but would still like a win for the assured feeling. There is still a four-way race for the last two slots up for grabs and in contention are KXIP, Sunrisers Hyderaba, Kings XI Punjab, KKR. Here’s a look at what each one of them needs to do to make it to the top-four of the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League.
Rising Pune Supergiant: The Steve Smith-led unit is the most sorted of the three. They have played 12 games, and have managed to collect 16 points from them. But, a poor run-rate means they need to win one out of their remaining two games to reach safety – 18 points. If Pune lose to Delhi on Friday, then their last league game against KXIP will be a cracker. The winner will make it to the play-off. Why the winner? Even when Pune are 16? Blame the poor net run-rate.
What Pune need to do: Win one of their last two games against Delhi and Punjab
Sunrisers Hyderabad: It has been a frustrating run for the defending champions, in the second half of the league matches. They have lost games they should have won and are now placed 4th with 15 points from 13 games. Sunrisers are up against Gujarat Lions in their last game, and a win would keep them alive in the title defence.
What Hyderabad need to do: Beat Gujarat Lions in their last game
Kings XI Punjab: What a run it has been for the Glenn Maxwell-led unit. Out of nowhere, they climbed up the ladder and have kept their campaign alive with convincing performances. They are left with one game, against Rising Pune Supergiant, and need to win it to advance. A win won’t be enough for them as other results too need to go in their favour.
What Punjab need to do: Beat Pune, and hope either Gujarat beat Sunrisers or Pune lose their group game against Delhi
What Kolkata Knight Riders need to do: They are sorted with 16 points and a healthy run-rate but would still want a win over Mumbai Indians to seal their spot. It’s simple equation for them – beat Mumbai and stay in the hunt for a top-two finish.