Ranji Trophy 2019-20 | Quarter Final Qualification Scenarios - Elite Group C and Plate Group
If you think the complication in the Elite Group C is any less than that of Elite Group A and B, then I am sorry to disappoint you. Odisha’s slump in form in the latter half has made things interesting and not a single team has sealed a berth in the Quarter-finals as the last round gets underway.
Elite Group - C
Jammu and Kashmir - 39 points
Definitely the story of the season, Jammu and Kashmir are yet to lose a single game, with the two drawn games majorly being the product of inclement weather conditions at the Gandhi Memorial Science College Ground in Jammu. The same venue will host their last group stage match against Haryana, where the hosts will want to cap off their league stage with a win and thus ensure a berth in the Quarters. A win or a first-innings lead will mean they will qualify but they still hold a chance even if they lose to Haryana. There are two different scenarios that can satiate them - firstly, Odisha will have to lose to Jharkhand or at the most get a first-innings lead or secondly, Services, who are at the third spot with 33 points, don't get a bonus point against Chhattisgarh.
Odisha - 35 points
Like Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, who had a rampaging run in the first half of the tournament, faltered in the game against Maharashtra to suffer an inconsequential heart-break ahead of their home encounter against Jharkhand. If they can manage to seal a victory against Jharkhand, they will go through with 41 points, with only J&K having a chance to top the table. But if they can only manage a first-innings lead, it will leave them at 38 - a potential danger with an incoming Services. For Odisha to go through with three points from the game, they have to wish Services don't win against Chhattisgarh. However, if the home team lose to neighbours Jharkhand, they need Services to either lose to Chhattisgarh or at least not get a first-innings lead in a draw so that their 35 points will be good enough to be the second best side in the group to qualify.
Services - 33 points
Here is a disclaimer. Only J&K and Odisha - two sides at the top of the table in Elite Group C- hold a chance on their own and the other four sides who are in contention, will have to hope for other results to go their way. Cue - Services. For the legacy institute of the Indian government to qualify directly, the best case scenario is to beat Chhattisgarh with a bonus point and want Jammu and Kashmir or Odisha to lose their game outright. However, if Services don't get a bonus point, the only hope for them is an Odisha loss and now, they can join J&K as the second QF from the group. A first-innings lead will put them in a tricky scenario but that is still very much possible. Lest Odisha lose to Jharkhand and Haryana don’t win, Services will reach 36 points, qualifying as a last resort. NRR will only come into picture if Odisha secures only one point from the game and Haryana win without a bonus point.
Haryana - 30 Points
While Services hold a chance to qualify with a first-innings lead, no such privileges are in Haryana’s domain now - simply they need a win to stay alive in the race. Beating Jammu and Kashmir with a bonus point is the best possible scenario and at the same time, they will have to hope Services don't win and Odisha don't get more than a point. In case, Haryana topple J&K to secure six points, they need both Odisha and Services to lose and it will still come down to the NRR and a potential danger for them.
Maharashtra - 28 points
Maharashtra, with 28 points, are basically the Delhi of Group C. Mathematically, they hold a chance but that is as bleak as anything. If they can beat Uttarakhand by an innings or ten wickets to secure a bonus point win and then other results like - Odisha losing to Jharkhand, Services maximum securing one point against Chhattisgarh and Haryana losing to Jammu and Kashmir - should go their way to qualify. There are no other scenario for them to have any sort of chance.
With one spot up for grabs from the 10-team group, there are only two teams - Goa and Puducherry - who can qualify, other teams can rest easy.
Goa, who at 43 points, are at the top of the table and if they win against Mizoram - then Puducherry’s results won’t have any bearing, with Goa promoting themselves to the Group C and thus securing a QF spot. In case they get only three points, they will have to hope that Puducherry don't win against Nagaland, thus ending up with a maximum of 44 points - and that will be two points less than Goa’s potential 46-point season. The third scenario of loss or conceding first-innings lead would mean they will now have to wait for Puducherry to do the exact same thing, so that the point difference remains static, letting the Dodda Ganesh-coached side to qualify easily.
Puducherry, on the other hand, don’t have the same luxury as Goa. Even if they manage to get past Nagaland, they will have to wish that Goa don't do the same against Mizoram. A first-innings lead can help them scarpe through but for that to happen, Goa should lose or at the most secure a single point. While the first case will mean Puducherry’s qualification, NRR will come into picture if Goa manage only a solitary point against Mizoram.