Despite losing to Royals, Super Giants comfortably placed for playoffs

Despite losing to Royals, Super Giants comfortably placed for playoffs

Rajasthan Royals: Mat 13, Pts 16, NRR 0.304
Remaining match: vs Chennai Super Kings

A comfortable 24-run win against Lucknow Super Giants means Rajasthan Royals are almost certain of qualifying for the playoffs. Only five teams can now get to 16 or more points – Delhi Capitals play Punjab Kings, so only one of them can reach that tally – and Royals’ excellent net run rate (NRR) of 0.304, coupled with Royal Challengers Bangalore’s poor -0.323, means Royals are very well placed. For them to drop below Royal Challengers, they will have to lose to Super Kings by a huge margin and Royal Challengers will need a big win against Gujarat Titans – the combined margin of those two results will need to be around 160 runs. (If Royal Challengers win by 70, Royals will need to lose by around 90.)

They also play their last game after Royal Challengers, so they will know exactly what they need to do to finish in the top four. The target for Royals will now actually be to win their last game and finish among the top two.

Lucknow Super Giants: Mat 13, Pts 16, NRR 0.262
Remaining match: vs Kolkata Knight Riders

In their last two matches, Super Giants’ NRR has dropped from 0.703 to 0.262, thanks to losses in these games by a combined margin of 86 runs. However, like Royals, Super Giants are also comfortably placed to qualify because of Royal Challengers’ poor NRR. For them to lose out on a playoffs spot, the combined margin of their defeat and Royal Challengers’ win will have to be around 150 runs.

Like Royals, Super Giants, too, have the chance to finish among the top two. If both these teams win their last match, they will finish on 18 points each and NRR will decide who finishes second.

Delhi Capitals: Mat 12, Pts 12, NRR 0.210
Remaining matches: vs Kings, Mumbai Indians

With Royals also reaching 16 points, there is less wriggle room for teams which are at the middle of the table. Delhi Capitals are still the best placed among those teams, thanks to their excellent NRR of 0.210. If they win their last two matches, they will go through. Even if they lose one of those matches and finish on 14, they could still qualify if Kings and Royal Challengers don’t reach 16, and if Knight Riders and Sunrisers don’t win their last games and go past Capitals on run rate. In fact, it is still possible for all these five teams to finish on 14 points, fighting for the last playoff spot.

Punjab Kings: Mat 12, Pts 12, NRR 0.023
Remaining matches: vs Capitals, Hyderabad

Kings currently have an NRR of 0.023, which is lower than Capitals’ 0.210 whom they play on Monday. If they win that game and their last one against Sunrisers, they will qualify.

If they lose to Capitals, they will have to win their last game against Sunrisers, and then hope that Capitals and Royal Challengers lose theirs. It will then come down to NRR among the teams on 14 points.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Mat 13, Pts 14, NRR -0.323
Remaining match: vs Gujarat Titans

Given their poor NRR, Royal Challengers will probably have to win their last game to stand a chance of qualification. If they lose that, it is highly unlikely that they can survive the NRR battle against the other team(s) on 14.

Even if they lose by just one run and Punjab Kings beat Capitals by a run, Punjab Kings will have to lose to Sunrisers by around 90 runs for their NRR to drop below that of Royal Challengers. Thus, a defeat against Titans will effectively end their qualification chances. A victory might not be enough either, if Capitals or Punjab Kings also finish on 16.

Kolkata Knight Riders: Mat 13, Pts 12, NRR 0.160
Remaining matches: vs Super Giants

Knight Riders can reach a maximum of 14, which means they too must hope that no other team reaches 16. Their NRR of 0.160 is quite healthy; if they score 180 and win their last game by 25 runs, it will improve further to 0.241, which means they will be in the hunt for the playoffs if none of the other teams go up to 16.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Mat 12, Pts 10, NRR -0.270
Remaining matches: vs Mumbai, Kings

Sunrisers will have to win their last two games by big margins, and then hope that no other team moves up to 16 points. They will obviously stand a better chance if Capitals lose both matches and stay on 12, and if Knight Riders lose their last game too.

If Sunrisers win their last two by 30 runs each, then their NRR will be -0.010. If Kings beat Capitals by a run and lose to Sunrisers by 30, their NRR will drop to -0.085 (assuming scores of 180 and 150).

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats

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