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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The IPL playoff race: Who will it be – KKR, RR, MI or PBKS?

How things stand, going into the last seven group league games of the IPL.

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty |
Updated: October 5, 2021 7:38:45 am
KKR will have to win their final group league fixture against Rajasthan Royals for safety. (Source: PTI

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

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

KKR

Matches played 13, Points -12, NRR – +0.29

They will play against Royals and a win will all but take them to the top four. The other three chasing teams are way behind in terms of net run-rate and need to win by big margins to trump KKR.

However, if KKR lose their last group game, then both Royals and Mumbai Indians would be firmly in contention, with each team to play two more matches in the group league.

Mumbai Indians

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

The defending champions have struggled to hit their peak this term. Their next two matches are against Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad. So basically this makes it a straight fight between MI and Royals. The winning team will stay afloat.

MI, though, have the worst run-rate among all the teams still in contention. So realistically their only chance is to win their next two matches and hope that KKR would lose their final group league fixture.

Rajasthan Royals

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

They have their fate in their own hands. If Royals beat MI and KKR in their last two group games, they will be on 14 points and through to the Playoffs. But losing one of them would make their job extremely difficult. If four teams eventually finish on 12 points, Royals’ net run-tate is unlikely to do them any favour.

Punjab Kings

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

Save a miracle, it looks nigh-on impossible for Punjab Kings. Their last match is against Chennai Super Kings and they will have to win it by 70-odd runs and then hope KKR lose to Royals by same margin. Also, they will come in contention if no other team gets to 14 points.

Chennai Super Kings

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

Top of the table with the best net run-rate, CSK have to win one of their next two matches to secure a top two finish and get a second bite at the cherry in the Playoffs. The losers of the Qualifier 1 will get another chance to reach the final, having 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 lose both, they could still be in the top two, thanks to their run-rate.

Delhi Capitals

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

DC have also qualified and are on the cusp of securing a top two finish. Their next two matches are against CSK and Royal Challengers Bangalore and two more points will all but secured a top two finish for them.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

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

RCB, too, have qualified. But to finish among the top two teams, they will 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 CSK or DC lose both their remaining group fixtures.

Sunrisers Hyderabad

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

Their race is run. But with their next two matches against RCB and MI, they can influence the Playoffs equation.

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