After 40 days of intense action, we now know for the sure the four teams who will play in the Playoffs of the 2017 Indian Premier League.
Two-time champions Mumbai Indians, defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad, another two-time winner Kolkata Knight Riders and the first timers Rising Pune Supergiant will in the course of the upcoming week, look to battle it out in a quest for the title.
In a competition like the IPL, consistency over a period of time is vital for teams to stake their claim for the title. These four teams have been able to attain that and hence find themselves in the position to stand on the podium on the 21st of May.
The Mumbai Indians, often slow starters in the League, were the first team to seal a berth in the knockout stage of the competition this time around. Rohit Sharma and his boys were in exceptional form in the opening half of the competition, winning on a regular basis at home and away and with 10 wins in 14 matches, finished on top of the table, heading into the Playoffs.
The Rising Pune Supergiant, the team which nearly finished last in the 2016 edition, strung together a superb revival this year on the back of a shift in captaincy and some key buys in the auction.
After a stuttering start to their campaign, the Steve Smith-led side began to gather momentum to their campaign, particularly after their win against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, when an MS Dhoni special took them home and on the back of some fine wins both at home and away, finished second on the table with 9 wins in 14 matches.
The defending champions-Sunrisers Hyderabad- made it to the Playoff stage of the competition for a second consecutive time, this time though, thanks to a brilliant performance from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who delivered with immaculate regularity for them, both at the front and the back-end of an innings.
Their batting was once again led by David Warner, who made 604 runs in 13 matches and was ably supported by Shikhar Dhawan, who got some excellent form under his belt ahead of an important month of cricket, amassing 468 runs in 13 matches.
Kolkata Knight Riders, have like the other teams progressed through to the final four, thanks to some fine performances in the early stages of the competition. The gamble of promoting Sunil Narine to the opening spot paid off for the side, as the West Indian got them off to brisk starts and on an Eden pitch, offering assistance to their quicks, the fast bowlers led the way for the Gautam Gambhir-led side.
On Tuesday, the Mumbai will play the RPS in the 1st Qualifier at the Wankhede Stadium. In the Group stage, it was Pune, who won both legs of the Maharashtra derby and the winner of the contest on Tuesday will directly progress to the final.
On Wednesday, the Sunrisers will take on the Knight Riders in the Eliminator at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. The winner of this game will play the loser of the first Qualifier at the same venue on the 19th of May. The loser of the eliminator will bow out of the competition.
The winner of the second Qualifier will take on the winner of the first Qualifier in the final at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on the 21st of May.
Here’s the schedule for the Playoffs:
|1.||May 16th,2017||Qualifier 1-Mumbai Indians vs Rising Pune Supergiant||Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai||8:00 P.M|
|2.||May 17th,2017||Eliminator-Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Kolkata Knight Riders||Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru||8:00 P.M|
|3.||May 19th, 2017||Qualifier 2- Loser of Qualifier 1 vs Winner of Eliminator||Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru||8:00 P.M|
|4.||May 21st, 2017||Final-Winner of Qualifier 1 vs Winner of Qualifier 2||Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad||8:00 P.M|