The Indian Premier League (IPL) season 2018 is all set to enter the playoff stage. Only four teams will qualify for the knockouts. Two teams—Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), have qualified and two other spots are still vacant.
Delhi Daredevils (DD) are out of the race as they are at the bottom of the points table. They have played 12 matches and could only manage to win 3. Five teams — Mumbai Indians (MI), Rajasthan Royals (RR), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) — will be fighting it out to grab the remaining two spots.
Let’s have a look at the potential scenarios for the remaining teams to qualify for the playoffs:
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
The Virat Kohli-led side kept their hopes alive after they thrashed Kings XI Punjab at the latter’s home ground by 10 wickets on May 14. With this win, Bangalore have 10 points from 5 wins in the 12 games they have played so far.
They are left with two more games to play. They will next face Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 17 and Rajasthan Royals on May 19. They need to win both games and would hope RR, KXIP and KKR don’t win more than one match each.
Kings XI Punjab:
Punjab need two more wins if they want to qualify for the playoffs. They are left with two more games and are currently number 5 on the points table with 12 points. Punjab will next face Mumbai Indians on May 16 and Chennai Super Kings on May 20. If they end up with 14 points, then Net Run Rate could play a crucial role in KXIP’s elimination.
With 10 points in 12 games so far, MI need to win each of their remaining two matches to remain in the race to the playoffs. They can’t afford to lose their game against KXIP on May 16. Any loss will knock them out.
The Ajinkya Rahane-led side too need to win their remaining games against Kolkata Knight Riders on May 15 and with Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 19. They are at number 4 with 12 points. With 16 points, they will fix their place in eliminator round. If they manage to win just one, then they would hope that two of the four teams – KXIP, KKR, RCB and MI – lose at least one match each. The third, fourth place will then be decided on Net Run Rate.
Kolkata Knight Riders:
Again, they also need to win the remaining matches. Dinesh Karthik-led side will next face Rajasthan Royals on May 15 and Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 19. Two wins will ensure they will have 16 points, which they need to qualify for the playoffs. If they lose one, they would hope that two of the four teams – KXIP, RR, RCB and MI – lose at least one match each. The third, fourth place will then be decided on Net Run Rate.
The IPL 2018 eliminator round will start from May 22 and the final will be played on May 27 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.