MI take on SRH at home on Thursday (May 2nd) and a win for them will guarantee a playoff berth.
With RCB out of the race, let us analyse the most probable playoff scenarios for the 7 remaining teams in IPL 2019:
Chennai Super Kings
(13 matches: 18 points)
CSK are now favourites to top the group after their thrashing victory over DC at home. A win against Kings XI in Chandigarh will take them to 20 points and the number one position in the league table.
Even if they lose to Kings XI and MI wins both its remaining matches it will require DC to beat RR by a huge margin to displace CSK from one of the top two positions – such was the drastic rise in their NRR (and a corresponding fall in DC's) after the win on Wednesday.
(13 matches: 16 points)
DC need a massive win in their last encounter against a resurgent RR (whom they beat in their opening encounter in Jaipur) to harbor any hopes of topping the table. If they do manage such a win and if CSK loses to Kings XI by a big margin and MI loses one of its matches or even if it wins both but their NRR goes down significantly, then DC can still top the table.
DC can also finish at Number 3 if they lose to RR and MI wins one of its remaining matches (and does not lose the other by a huge margin).
(12 matches: 14 points)
MI have two home games remaining against SRH and KKR. A win in any will guarantee them a place in the playoffs. If they win both and CSK loses to Kings XI, then MI will, in all likelihood, finish at the top.
However, if they lose both their matches by significant margins (and their NRR also drops significantly) and KKR beat Kings XI and SRH beat RCB (or don’t lose to RCB by a colossal margin), then there is a minor possibility that KKR (tied with MI on 14 points) or KKR and SRH (tied with MI on 14 points) edge them out on NRR.
(12 matches: 12 points)
SRH qualify for the playoffs if they win their remaining two encounters against MI and RCB – both away.
Even one victory will almost guarantee them a place in the playoff as though they could be tied with a number of teams on 14 points each, their NRR (0.709) is by far the best in the tournament.
They can lose both their matches and still qualify if DC beat RR and KKR and Kings XI do not win more than one of their remaining two matches. Then, should a situation arise with SRH, KKR and Kings XI, all tied on 12 points each, SRH should qualify on a superior NRR.
Kolkata Knight Riders
(12 matches: 10 points)
If KKR win both their away games – against MI and Kings XI, they will end with 14 points. If SRH loses both its matches it remains on 12. In such a scenario KKR qualify as the 4th team. This is the best possibility for KKR.
If KKR lose any of the two remaining matches, then they would need DC to beat RR, SRH to lose both their matches by big margins and Kings XI to lose at least one of its remaining two matches. In such a scenario, there will be a three-way tie between KKR, Kings XI and SRH (12 points each) for the 4th position and KKR might scrape through on NRR though the probability of this happening is very low as SRH has an exceptional NRR currently.
Kings XI Punjab
(12 matches: 10 points)
The equation for Kings XI is almost exactly similar to KKR.
If Kings XI win their remaining two encounters – both at home – against KKR and CSK, they will end with 14 points. If SRH loses both its matches it remains on 12. In such a scenario Kings XI qualify as the 4th team.
If Kings XI lose one of the matches, then they would need DC to beat RR, SRH to lose both their matches by huge margins and KKR to lose at least one of its matches (by a big margin). In a three-way tie between KKR, Kings XI and SRH (12 points each), Kings XI would then hope to go through on NRR. This scenario, however, has an extremely low probability as Kings XI not only has the lowest NRR amongst the three but it is also in the negative.
(13 matches: 11 points)
RR have made a stupendous comeback against all odds to be at the 5th position in the points table. They need to beat DC in an away game to remain in contention for a playoff berth – no means an easy task.
Then they depend on the results of other teams for qualification – SRH needs to lose both their matches and KKR and Kings XI can, at most, win one of their remaining two matches for RR to make the playoffs as the 4th team on the points table.
First Published: May 2, 2019, 12:50 PM IST