IPL 2015: Road to Top 4 - Play-off scenarios
With we into the last week of the league stages of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the battle to make the top four is well and truly on. While Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Delhi Daredevils (DD) are out of the running and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are through, the remaining 3 play-off spots are still to be decided with no less than 5 teams jostling for them.
Before we proceed, here are the current standings.
|Chennai Super Kings||13||8||5||0||+0.646||16|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||13||7||5||1||+0.315||15|
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||12||6||5||1||+1.036||13|
|Kings XI Punjab||13||3||10||0||-1.425||6|
Kolkata Knight Riders
Remaining matches: vs Rajasthan Royals (May 16)
Kolkata Knight Riders have been one of the most consistent teams in the IPL since Gautam Gambhir took over as captain in 2011 and, in all likelihood, will make the play-offs this season, too. They are currently sitting on 15 points with a game left. If they can manage to win that, they will move to 17 points and secure their place in the top four.
However, if they fail to do so, they will have to hope that Sunrisers Hyderabad win their next two games while Royal Challengers Bangalore fail to do so.
Remaining matches: vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (May 15), vs Mumbai Indians (May 17)
The equation is fairly simple for the Sunrisers Hyderabad as they need to win only one of their remaining two games to confirm their qualification for the play-offs. However, two losses and they will find themselves exiting the tournament rather prematurely.
Remaining matches: vs Kolkata Knight Riders (May 16)
Rajasthan Royals must be kicking themselves for having got themselves into this precarious position after having comfortably won the first five games this season. They looked like the most balanced team in the competition and their place in the top two, let alone the top four, seemed a mere formality. However, things have taken a turn for the worse in recent times with their star players failing to step up to the plate when needed.
They still need not be too worried, though, as a victory in their final game against KKR will see them confirm their spot in the play-offs. Even a defeat would not be all doom and gloom, but they will then have to depend on Sunrisers Hyderabad winning their final two games and RCB & Mumbai Indians losing theirs.
NOTE: If RR are tied on points with any other team, they will have the disadvantage of finishing below the other one because the number of wins takes precedence over the net run rate.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Remaining matches: vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (May 15), vs Delhi Daredevils (May 17)
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have looked a different force altogether since Mitchell Starc’s arrival, which only makes one wonder where they would be placed if the Man of the Tournament of the recent World Cup had been available from the outset.
For them to progress to the play-offs and earn a chance at winning their first ever IPL, they will need to win at least one of their remaining games and hope that other results go their way.
Remaining matches: vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (May 17)
Just like last season, Mumbai Indians’ start to this season’s IPL campaign was absolutely woeful, but can they repeat their late-season heroics of last year and sneak through to the play-offs?
For that to happen, they simply have no option but to win their last match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. If they can succeed in doing so, they will be guaranteed a play-off spot irrespective of what happens elsewhere. Considering their impressive display against KKR yesterday, you won’t bet against them either.