The race for the Indian Premier League playoff qualification has heated up over the past week. With only seven games to go, there are three places up for grabs in the top-4, making this season one of the most competitive ones in IPL history.
Till now, only Mumbai Indians have secured a place in the IPL 2020 playoffs -- and they did so only last night when Chennai Super Kings (already eliminated) defeated Kolkata Knight Riders.
As the playoff race grows intense, let's take a look at all the qualification scenarios for all the sides:
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Current positon - 2nd
M - 12, W - 7, L - 5, Points - 14, NRR - +0.048
Royal Challengers Bangalore have two games remaining (against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals) in the league stage. The RCB only require one win in either of the two games to qualify for the playoffs. However, if they lose both of these games, they will hope for SRH to lose their remaining game of the season against MI, who have already qualified.
Delhi Capitals: Current position - 3rd
M - 12, W - 7, L - 5, Points - 14, NRR - +0.030
Delhi Capitals made a strong start to their campaign but have now lost three games in a row. To make things worse, their two remaining games of the season are against the top-2 sides -- MI and RCB. Like RCB, if they win one of the two games, they will qualify.
However, if DC lose and KKR win their final game against Rajasthan Royals -- and KXIP win their remaining games against RR and Chennai Super Kings, DC will be eliminated.
Kings XI Punjab: Current Position - 4th
M - 12, W - 6, L - 6, Points - 12, NRR - 0.049
Kings XI Punjab underwent a late revival and have given themselves a strong chance to qualify for the playoffs. If they win their two games against RR and CSk, they will proceed to the playoff stage. If they win one of the two, KXIP will hope that KKR and RR not win with big margins, as it may have a positive effect on their NRR.
If KXIP win against RR, the Royals will be knocked out.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Current Position - 5th
M - 13, W - 6, L - 7, Points - 12, NRR - -0.0467
Kolkata Knight Riders lost their game against CSK last night and now have to win against Rajasthan Royals to qualify for the playoffs. A loss would knock them out. In addition, they will also pin their hopes on MS Dhoni's Super Kings to beat KXIP with a hefty margin, and RR to beat KXIP too.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Current Position - 6th
M - 12, W - 5, L - 7, Points - 10, NRR - +0.396
SRH's strong run-rate help their cause but they will have to win both of their matches -- and hope for KXIP to lose at least one of their matches. SRH face RCB and MI in their last two matches.
Rajasthan Royals: Current Position - 7th
M - 12, W - 5, L - 7, Points - 10, NRR - -0.505
RR need to win both of their games to sustain a chance to qualify. In addition, they will also need CSK to beat KXIP and one of RCB and MI to beat SRH in the latter's two remaining games.
If all of it happens, the match between Royals and the Knight Riders could be the shoot-out for fourth place.