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IPL 2020 | Qualification scenarios: what needs to happen for each side in contention to make it to the playoffs

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KXIP will make the playoffs with 4 wins

@ IPL T20

IPL 2020 | Qualification scenarios: what needs to happen for each side in contention to make it to the playoffs

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Anirudh Suresh

10/24/2020

41 matches done, 15 to go and all 8 teams in contention to make it to the final four - fair to say IPL 2020 is shaping up to be one of the best in the competition’s history. With there being daylight between the Top 3 and the rest, we dissect how each side in contention can clinch the 4th spot.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Current position

4th

Number of points

 10

Remaining fixtures

DC, KXIP, CSK, RR

Best case scenario

Qualifying by winning each of their 4 remaining matches. 18 points will guarantee qualification and might even give an outside chance of breaking into the Top 2. 

Average case scenario 

Winning 3 of their remaining four matches and hoping either KXIP or SRH don’t win all their remaining games. 3 wins will get KKR to 16 points and given KXIP and SRH will face each other, only one of those two teams can get to 16. Also, the maximum RR can get to is just 14. If KXIP beat SRH on Saturday and if KKR beat KXIP next week, they will seal qualification with 16 points. 

Worst case scenario

Get to 14 and hope all of KXIP, SRH and RR end with 12 points or fewer. 

Problem child

Net Run Rate. KKR’s NRR of -0.828 is the worst amongst all teams. Thus should they finish level on points with any of the other teams, it is likely that they will miss out on qualification, unless they drastically improve their NRR over their next couple of matches.

Kings XI Punjab

Current position

6th

Number of points

8

Remaining fixtures

SRH, KKR, RR and CSK

Best case scenario

Punjab will qualify if they win each of their remaining four matches, which will get them to 16 points. 

Average case scenario

Winning three of their four remaining matches, getting to 14 points and hoping neither SRH nor KKR to get 16 points. In the case of a tie, they will need to hope to sneak into the playoffs through NRR. That might be tricky, though, as SRH, as things stand, have a significantly better NRR.

Worst case scenario

Get to 12 points and hope to qualify through NRR. While it sounds absurd, it is possible. For KXIP to qualify through 12 points, here’s what needs to happen: RR should win no more than 2 of their last 3 games; KKR need to lose 3 of their last 4 remaining matches; SRH need to lose 2 of their last 4 remaining matches, and that too by a heavy margin. 

Problem child

Like KKR, a negative NRR. This means that should it come down to a NRR shootout between themselves and SRH, KXIP will lose out on a playoff spot.

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Current position

5th

Number of points

8

Remaining fixtures

KXIP, DC, RCB, MI

Best case scenario

Winning each of their 4 remaining matches, getting to 16 points and hoping KKR lose one of their last four games. Thanks to their superior NRR, a tie with KKR should see SRH progressing to the playoffs.

Average case scenario

Winning 3 of their 4 remaining matches, getting to 14 points and hoping to sneak in through NRR. Among the 5 bottom teams, SRH are the only side to boast a positive NRR, so, should things not change drastically, they might hold the edge should there be a three or four-way tie. 

Worst case scenario

Get to 12 points and hope to edge other sides through NRR. Here’s what needs to happen for SRH to qualify with 12 points: KXIP need to lose 2 of their 4 remaining games; KKR will need to lose 3 of their 4 remaining games; RR will have to lose 1 of their 3 remaining games. As improbable as it sounds, crazier things have happened in the past, in the IPL. After all, SRH, last year, snuck into the playoffs with just 12 points to their name. 

Problem child

Whilst SRH have a pretty fine NRR, what will be their problem is their fixtures. On Saturday, they will come up against a rampant KXIP, but will then finish their season off with bouts versus the top three, DC, RCB and MI, all three of whom will be eyeing a top two finish. SRH will have to punch above their weight, no two ways about it.

Rajasthan Royals

Current position

7th

Number of points

8

Remaining fixtures

MI, KXIP and KKR

Best case scenario

Winning each of their remaining three matches, getting to 14 points and hoping to edge KKR via NRR. For this, all three of KXIP, SRH and KKR will have to lose 2 of their remaining 4 matches.

Average case scenario

Winning each of their three remaining games, getting to 14 points and hoping for the rest of the pack to finish with 12. Here’s what needs to happen for that: KXIP will need to beat SRH and KKR and lose to both RR and CSK; SRH will have to lose 2 of their last 4 remaining matches; KKR will have to lose 3 of their 4 remaining games. 

Worst case scenario

Winning 2 of their 3 remaining matches, getting to 12 points and hoping to pip the other sides through NRR. Although mathematically possible, this is highly unlikely. In this case, not only will RR need KXIP, SRH and KKR to lose 2, 2 and 3 matches respectively, but they will also have to win their own games by humongous margins and hope for the others to be at the receiving end of thrashings.

Problem child

The fact that they can only get to 14 points is bad, but what adds to RR’s woes is their NRR of -0.620, which is the second-worst in the entire competition. 

Chennai Super Kings

Current position

8th

Number of points

6

Remaining fixtures

RCB, KKR, KXIP

Scenario

Unfortunately for CSK, there is only one feasible scenario through which they can progress through to the playoffs. After their drubbing on Friday, here’s what needs to happen for CSK to qualify for the next round: CSK need to win each of their remaining 3 matches by humongous margins; KKR will have to lose each of their four remaining games or all their games barring the Delhi clash; SRH will have to beat KXIP and lose their bouts versus DC, RCB and MI; KXIP will need to beat KKR and lose their encounters versus RR, SRH and CSK; RR will have to beat KXIP and KKR and lose their fixture versus Mumbai. Should all these results come to fruition, CSK will be tied on 12 points with RR and/or KKR, after which they could hope to progress via NRR. A long shot. A long, long shot, to say the least. 

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