IPL 2019: How today's results will affect playoffs qualification scenarios
The Indian Premier League has yet again lived up to the expectations of being the most competitive and exhilarating domestic league in the world, with some hair-raising moments and nail-biting finishes.
Even as the last week of the league matches commences from tomorrow, the league is still quite open, and an even hunting ground for the teams. However, today's action packed Super Sunday promises to create ripples in the points table, and spice up the action over the next week.
As Sanju Samson smacked a Shakib Al Hasan delivery for boundary, not only did he the Rajasthan Royals' hopes alive, he also ensured a berth for Chennai Super Kings in the playoffs. This leaves seven teams with a race for the three remaining spots, with some depending on capability, while others on coincidence.
Matters are pretty much in the hands of the teams placed from 2nd to 5th in the table. While Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals just require a win apiece to get the 'Q' mark against their name, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab need to win all their bids to up their case for qualification.
The bottom three teams, namely Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore need a bit of flamboyance as well as fortune to advance further in the tournament.
In such a scenario, today's games, both being clash of the geographical extremes, hold great significance in shaping up things. A rejuvenated Delhi Capitals take on a recuperating Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first game, while the mighty Mumbai Indians shall be locking horns with the determined Knight Riders from Kolkata in the latter half of the day.
Let us have a look at the way the tournament would shape up in all the four possible combinations of results:
#1 If DC and MI win:
Such a scenario would guarantee a playoff spot to both Delhi and Mumbai, and eliminate the troops of Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik from the tournament. MI and DC shall zero in on finishing inside the top two while three teams would be left vying for the fourth playoff spot.
#2 If RCB and MI win:
This would move RCB to the seventh position in the points table, and leave Delhi unchanged. However, Delhi would have to ensure at least one win in the remaining two games, against CSK and RR, to be in the safe zone.
A win for MI shall propel Rohit Sharma's team on to the top of the table with a superior Net Run Rate and lead to qualification for the playoffs, with a great chance of finishing in the top two. KKR shall be pushed to the last spot, and shall fight further to avoid the wooden spoon.
#3 If DC and KKR win:
This shall ensure qualification for Shreyas Iyer's boys, and mark the end of yet another dismal season for Kohli's troops.This would place a lot of impetus on the game against RR and RCB, with the clash being a virtual knock out.
A win would keep the hopes of the Knight Riders floating on to log, while Mumbai Indians would require to emerge victorious in at least one of the home games to avoid dependence on other results.
#4 If RCB and KKR win:
This result shall act as a great leveller, and leave the league much more open with five teams on 10 points each. While it would leave the points table unchaged, all the seven sides shall have a realistic chance of making it through to the next round.
The teams would ply their trade with utmost diligence, and every result shall have a critical bearing upon the points table. Once again, all eyes would be on the clash against RR and RCB, while KKR would be looking to beat Kings XI and Mumbai once again. Delhi and Mumbai shall have to recoil quickly and register wins on the board to plan for the playoffs.