As the inaugural edition of the Indian Badminton League heads towards its business end, here are the scenarios for the teams to make it to the last four:
Krrish Delhi Smashers:
A disappointing season so far for the Smashers has left them with 8 points from their 4 matches. With their final encounter against Banga Beats, the team from Delhi is almost out of the tournament and would require a miracle to proceed to the semifinals.
- They can qualify if they beat Banga Beats 5-0 and then Pistons beat the Warriors with a 4-1 or 5-0 margin. Also, Banga Beats should not win their final match by a 5-0 margin.
- If Delhi wins 4-1 against Banga Beats, they would require Awadhe to lose their last match by 5-0. Also, Banga Beats should not win their final match against the Hotshots.
- A 4-1 win for Delhi followed by a 3-2 win for Bangalore against Hyderabad and a 4-1 win for Pune would put 3 teams (AW,BB,KDS) on 13 points fighting for the last semifinal slot.
All in all, Delhi has a very slim chance of qualifying for the next round.
Pune Pistons are at the moment comfortably placed in 3rd place with a match in hand.
They would want to continue their success against Banga Beats into their final league match against the Warriors. With 14 points already in the bag, the Pistons require only two points from their last tie to qualify for the knockout round.
If they manage to get only a single point in their final encounter, then also they would be tied with Mumbai and would hope that Banga Beats do not overtake their points haul in the remaining games.
With a close 3-2 win against Mumbai Masters, P.V.Sindhu led Warriors have kept their hopes alive for getting through to the last four.
They have 12 points from their 4 matches and a win against Pune Pistons would move them to 16 points and ensure a semifinal berth.
However, if they lose, then the team from Lucknow will have to depend on the results of the other two matches, such that Banga Beats or Krrish Delhi Smashers do not overtake their points tally.
The Banga Beats team has two matches to go and a win in both the matches would secure a semifinal berth for them. However, a loss in any encounter could result in a tussle between them and Awadhe for a final four slot. The scenarios for qualification are as follows:
- Banga Beats win both games, they qualify.
- Banga Beats win 3-2 against Delhi and lose to Hotshots (2-3); then they can qualify only if Awadhe perform badly against Pune such that the Warriors do not cross 14 points. 1-4 defeat to the Hotshots would make qualification even more difficult for Banga Beats.
- A more comfortable win against Delhi (4-1 or 5-0) would make their qualification easier and reduce the number of points they would have to achieve in their final match.
All in all, since Banga Beats are playing the last match of the league, they would know exactly what is required for qualification and can squeeze through to the semis.
Lee Chong Wei led Mumbai Masters have played all their matches and have reached a total of 15 points. They will have to wait for the other encounters to find out if they qualify for the next round.
The only way the Masters would fail to qualify would be if Banga Beats wins both games and Awadhe beat Pune 3-2. This would put Pune, Awadhe on 16 points.
The two wins for Banga Beats would propel them to 16 or more points. Then, even a single point for Hyderabad would knock Mumbai out.
Also, if Awadhe beat Pune by a bigger margin, then Pune could be level with Mumbai on 15 points with Pune, having won more number of ties and also having defeated Mumbai in the tie between the two teams, going through.
Hyderabad Hotshots head into their home leg encounters firmly on top of the table with 15 points and a match to play. They are all but through to the semis and require just one point from their final league match against Bangalore to go through.
As the league stands, any team who is able to reach 16 points would be guaranteed a semifinal berth.
Prediction (Teams to qualify):
1) Hyderabad Hotshots
2) Pune Pistons
3) Mumbai Masters
4) Awadhe Warriors