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IPL 2018 Scenarios | How can each team make it to the playoffs

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IPL 2018 Scenarios | How can each team make it to the playoffs

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Subhayan Dutta


With the IPL group stages approaching the last two weeks, the table stands at a strenuous juncture where only one team has sealed a playoff spot with as many as seven others looking at qualification possibilities. Here are different scenarios that show how many fumbles can each team afford.

Sunrisers Hyderabad - Played 11; Points 18

Sunrisers Hyderabad became the first side to seal a playoff spot on Thursday when they defeated Delhi Daredevils quite comfortably, thanks to a brilliant partnership by Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson. They have won 9 games of the 11 that they have played and sit with the highest net run rate of 0.473. This basically means that even if lose their remaining games against Chennai, Bangalore, and Kolkata, there is no way they will be out of the top four spot.

3 wins, 0 loss - The safest scenario for SRH and one that would more than guarantee them a place at the top of the table is three wins in the remaining three games. A win against CSK would open a six-point gap between them and the second-placed side, which could see an intense competition between CSK and KXIP with higher net run rate coming into the equation.

2 wins, 1 loss - Even if SRH lose one of the remaining three games, 20 points on board could be enough for them to remain atop. Though a defeat against immediate competitor CSK, could see SRH come to the second position on run-rate, they are unlikely to go down to the third whatsoever.

3 losses, 0 wins - It is only in this case that SRH could drop to number three with either CSK or KXIP taking the mantle, given they face each other and have the chance of garnering 20 points, two more than SRH if one of them win all their remaining games.  

Chennai Super Kings - Played 11; Points 14

After a terrific start to the season and dominating most of their opponents throughout the season, the comeback franchise led by MS Dhoni sit at a precarious position at the moment, especially after the 4-wicket loss against Rajasthan Royals on Friday. It has kept them on 14 points with Kings XI Punjab breathing on their neck with a game in hand and two points behind.

Given that 16 is the benchmark for the qualification, CSK are just one win away from sealing a berth in the knockout stages. Their next three games are against SRH, DD, and KXIP.

1 win, 2 losses - CSK would move to 16 if they squeeze out one win out of the next three games and they wouldn’t have to rely on other teams’ results for qualification. Of course, that would mean KXIP overtaking CSK in the second place for they could still garner 18 points, even if they lose their last game against CSK. While Mumbai would secure the fourth place in that scenario with 14 points, KKR and RR would both be eliminated with 12 points each. 

2 wins, 1 losses - However, one win wouldn’t guarantee CSK a qualifier spot as CSK can get up to 18 points to take the second place and Dhoni would want his side safe enough to afford a fumble in the knockout stages, which would require them to stay ahead of KXIP after the next three games. If CSK prevails, they would secure the second place, otherwise, a third place (eliminator) is more or less secure for them even with two victories.

3 wins, 0 losses - Only in this scenario would CSK seal a qualifier place for it would mean KXIP, their closest competitor, winning three of their remaining four games and finishing with 18 points as opposed to CSK’s 20.

Kings XI Punjab - Played 10; Points 12 

The Punjab-based franchise has had a start-stop season so far under the new captaincy of Ravichandran Ashwin, but it is time they buckle up and get the job done. With 12 points off 10 games, they have more or less a playoffs spot in their grasp and only a massive bottle-up could see things go south for them.

4 wins, 0 losses - Even if Ashwin doesn’t falter in their remaining four games of the league stage, KXIP wouldn’t go up top, of course without other teams fumbling. SRH winning their remaining games would see with 24 points, out of everyone’s reach, and KXIP would only get the second place. The third and fourth placed would be Chennai and Mumbai then.

3 wins, 1 loss - It gets interesting from there. If CSK and KXIP get three wins from their remaining games, both would end with 18 with run rate playing the significant role. Of course, the last game where CSK take on KXIP will be quintessential here. It is on that game that KXIP’s qualifier fate would hinge upon. 

2 wins, 2 losses - Punjab would want to avoid the consequences of this scenario as they play CSK (the one above them), MI and KKR (the two teams below them) in their remaining four games. Two wins would take KXIP to 16 points, and although KKR and MI wouldn’t be able to catch them in this case, CSK would definitely seal the qualifier place.

1 win, 3 losses - This would be the most interesting scenario of all. One win would leave KXIP with 14 points and it would mean they will finish out of the qualifier spots with a battle ensuing between the two as MI would reach that number of points (14). With KKR facing RR and KXIP, and RR, MI and KKR, it will eliminate one of them (both RR and KKR on 12 points then) from claiming the fourth spot.

Mumbai Indians - Played 11; Points 10

Rohit Sharma and company has started clicking just at the right moment with four consecutive wins in the last four games that has picked them up from the rock bottom to the fourth position. Their double-header victories against KKR in the last two games, their immediate competitor, have been of tremendous help to them. However, they are still not out of danger by any means.

3 wins, 0 losses - This is the best MI can do in the remainder of the group stage and in this case, the points table would end with them and KKR at level with 16 points and the net run rate should come into the equation. However, given the big margin between the two sides, MI could go ahead of KKR. SRH, CSK and KXIP would be the top three sides in this case.

2 wins, 1 loss - MI would finish with 14 points in this scenario and would depend on KKR’s result to get into the top four. KKR, who don’t face MI anymore, would finish on 16 if they win all their remaining games and would qualify ahead of MI with run-rate no more an issue. MI will finish fifth, equal on points tally with RR with the top three remaining same.

Kolkata Knight Riders - Played 11; Points 10

After KKR’s suicidal last two games, the Dinesh Karthik-led side is also in a position where not much is in their hands. However, it doesn’t mean that they are out of the competition, and as Karthik had said after their loss in the last game, they are very much in with a chance to qualify.

3 wins, 0 losses - Wins in all their remaining games would see Karthik’s side end with equal points as MI with net run-rate playing a major role. However, given the big margin between the two, Kolkata would hope MI don’t win all their remaining games. Given that KKR are playing both KXIP (above them) and RR (below them), anything short of three wins would bring an end to their campaign.

Rajasthan Royals- Played 11; Points 10

Out of nowhere, their win over CSK last night has kicked open Rajasthan’s chances in IPL this season, although very slim. No matter what the scenario, RR would most likely require help from the other sides to squeeze their tail into the top four. Their only big advantage remains that they are yet to play KKR and MI, who are two side above them.

3 wins, 0 loss - With the top three remaining the same Rajasthan would qualify from the fourth place if they manage to win all their remaining games. The three wins would mean that they have to beat both KKR and MI, putting them on 16 points, which neither of the two teams could then reach as they would go till maximum 14 points.

2 wins, 1 loss - Given their next two games include immediate competitors KKR, two wins would take RR to 14 points. And with all the other sides winning all their games, Rajasthan would level with MI on 14 in the fourth and fifth position, which will be decided on run-rate.

Royal Challengers Bangalore - Played 10; Points 6

Yet another disappointing season for Bangalore as they stand at the brink of hopelessness. After just six points from 10 games, their only chance of qualification remained because of the sudden twist in Mumbai’s tale this season against KKR.

4 wins, 0 loss - If Kohli and co. manage to win all their remaining four games, then RCB would sit in the sixth with 14 points, at par with KKR and MI with run-rate playing a huge role. However, given the meager -0.361 run-rate that RCB currently have, qualification would be a distant possibility even then. Anything less than four wins in the next four games and RCB are definitely out.

8. Delhi Daredevils- Played 11; Points 6

Despite another revamp with a successful IPL captain at the helm, DD were the first to crash out of the league yet again. However, having said all that, Delhi could be a huge disruptor for all the teams above them.

3 wins, 0 losses - They are on six points from 11 games and even they win all three of their remaining games, they would go only to 12, two less than 14, which has been an average point to have qualification chances as seen in the teams above. However, the interesting thing is, DD are be playing RCB, CSK and MI. And a win in all three would see DD equaling points with MI, KKR, and RR. Moreover, they could also allow KXIP to leapfrog CSK for the qualifier spot dragging Dhoni’s side to the second.

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