Playoff scenarios explained

KXIP, CSK, KKR through; RR, MI, SRH fight for 4th spot

Mumbai 24 May 2014
Playoff Scenario

Kings XI Punjab (20 points), Chennai Super Kings (16 points) and Kolkata Knight Riders (16 points) have already qualified for the playoffs. Three teams – Rajasthan Royals (14 points), Mumbai Indians (12 points) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (12 points) – are in contention for the remaining spot in the playoffs. Royal Challengers Bangalore (10 points) and Delhi Daredevils (4 points) are out of the race.

Yesterday’s two results have made the fight for the remaining spot in the playoffs even more interesting. It will now all boil down to the result of the last league match between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals tomorrow. 

The equation for Rajasthan Royals is pretty simple. A win – even by the narrowest margin- will seal their place in the playoffs. If, however, Sunrisers Hyderabad win today and Rajasthan Royals lose to Mumbai Indians tomorrow, then all three teams will finish with equal (14) points and net run-rate will decide which team moves into playoffs.

Rajasthan Royals net run-rate is +0.247 as against Mumbai Indians’ -0.086 and Sunrisers Hyderabad’s -0.231. This means if Rajasthan Royals lose to Mumbai Indians by a small margin, they can still go through as they will remain ahead of other two teams on net run-rate. So, Mumbai Indians will need to win by a big margin to beat Rajasthan Royals on net run-rate. If they bat first and score 150, Mumbai Indians will need to win by 42 runs. If Mumbai Indians bat second, they will need to chase down a target of 150 in around 15 overs.

Sunrisers are also in contention for a place in play-offs, but their chances are very remote. Just to beat Mumbai Indians on net run-rate, Sunrisers will need to beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 32-33 runs. That will not be sufficient though, because a narrow win for Mumbai Indians will take Rajasthan Royals in to the play-offs as their net run-rate will better than both Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians. On the other hand a heavy win for Mumbai Indians will improve their net run-rate drastically putting them ahead of both Royals and Sunrisers on net run-rate.

For Sunrisers to reach playoffs, they will need to give Kolkata Knight Riders a royal thrashing and then hope that Mumbai Indians beat Rajasthan Royals by a margin that is neither too big nor too small. This is way too complicated. More over Mumbai Indians-Rajasthan Royals match being the last league match of the tournament, these two teams will have the advantage of knowing exactly what they need to do. So, Sunrisers’ fate is not in their own hands. They can only hope for the things to fall in place. In all likelihood, it will be either Rajasthan Royals or Mumbai Indians that will join Kings XI Punjab, Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders in the playoffs.
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