Flaunting an impressive batting show, Sunrisers Hyderabad, on Thursday, thumped Rajasthan Royals by eight wickets in Dubai to move to the sixth place in the points table.
While hunting a challenging 155-run target, SRH's run-chase was headed by the Manish Pandey-Vijay Shankar duo. The Indian pair put up a 140-run partnership to seal the victory for SRH and bag two crucial points in their topsy-turvy IPL 2020 campaign.
With SRH's comprehensive win, the top-four has intensified further. As it stands, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore, with 14 points each, have more or less secured the playoffs berth.
Defending champions Mumbai Indians are third in the table with 21 points under their belt. But talking about the fourth position, four teams-- Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals-- are all set to tussle for a playoffs berth.
While Kolkata are currently in fourth place with 10 points, their recent form has been lackadaisical. Struggling to find a rhythm with the bat, KKR suffered a batting debacle in their recent clash against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday.
After being folded for a dismal 84 against RCB, the Eoin Morgan-led side has stepped into a muddle, making things difficult for them. To make things worse, KKR are slated to face a dominant Delhi Capitals side in their next fixture on Saturday. If KKR fail to snatch two points against Delhi, SRH and KXIP will enter the ring to topple them off the fourth position.
With five wins in 10 games, KKR are currently fourth with 10 points to their name. However, their mediocre NRR might shatter their top-four hopes. KKR, at present, have an NRR of -0.828.
Meanwhile, SRH and KXIP-- despite having a superior NNR of +0.092 and -0.177 respectively compared to KKR-- are languishing in the bottom half. Both the franchises have played the same number of games as KKR (10) and have a decent chance to climb to the fourth position.
Eyeing to get past KKR, Punjab and Hyderabad will lock horns in a crucial fixture on Saturday at Dubai International Stadium. While KL Rahul's men have registered three consecutive victories, the David Warner-led Orange Army have likely found a tempo by thrashing Rajasthan Royals.
The double-header on Saturday can unfold a crucial twist in the points table. KKR will look to consolidate their position by thumping DC. KXIP and SRH, on the other hand, will throw in everything to get hold of two tournament-defining points.