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Scenarios: What CSK, LSG, Mumbai, RCB, Kings, Royals and KKR need for IPL playoff qualification

With just seven games to go in the league stage, there are still seven teams fighting for three spots. Here is a lowdown on the qualification prospects of each of them.

Lucknow Super Giants

Played 13, Points 15, NRR 0.304

Remaining: KKR (a)

LSG’s thrilling five-run win against Mumbai Indians keeps alive their hopes of finishing in the top two, let alone qualifying. That will definitely happen if they beat Kolkata Knight Riders in their last game away, and if Chennai Super Kings lose in Delhi. If LSG and CSK finish on 17, it will come down to the result margins, as there is currently little to choose between the net run rates (NRR): 0.304 for Super Giants, and 0.381 for Super Kings.

However, if LSG lose their last game, then they could be in a sticky position as five other teams – Gujarat Titans, CSK, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab Kings – can all finish on 16 or more points. To qualify with 15, they will have to hope that at least a couple of these teams don’t get up to 16.

Mumbai Indians

Played 13, Points 14, NRR -0.128

Their loss in Lucknow means Mumbai now need to depend on other results, even if they win their game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday. That is because three teams can finish on more than 16 points – which is the maximum for Mumbai – and two others, RCB and Kings, can also reach 16. Royal Challengers have an NRR of 0.166, which will likely improve further if they win two, compared to Mumbai Indians’ -0.128.

However, if any of the four sides between RCB, LSG, CSK and Kings lose, then Mumbai’s chances go up considerably. They have the advantage of playing on the last day of the league stage, against a team which has struggled throughout the season, and in home conditions; no team has a better home record than Mumbai this season (4-2).

If Mumbai lose that last game then it could get even more complicated, as five teams could potentially finish on 14 points, fighting for one slot.

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Played 12, Points 12, NRR -0.268

Remaining: DC (h), RR (h)

Given their poor NRR, it is highly unlikely that Kings will take the fourth spot with 14 points. They will need to win their last two and finish on 16, and then probably hope that other results help them out, as RCB are on as many points with a significantly better run rate.

To start with, they need a big win against bottom-placed Delhi Capitals on Wednesday. That is a home game for Kings, but in Dharamsala, not Mohali.

Chennai Super Kings

Played 13, Points 15, NRR 0.381

Remaining: DC (a)

Mumbai’s defeat has improved CSK’s chances of finishing in the top two. If both CSK and LSG win their last game, then run rates will decide who finishes second. CSK are marginally ahead on that count, but not by much. If they win their last game by 10 runs, Super Giants will need to win by about 29 runs to surpass them on NRR.

If CSK lose to Capitals, then they could potentially be knocked out since five sides can finish on more than 15 points. However, if other results go their way, then CSK could still finish second without adding to their tally.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Played 12, Points 12, NRR 0.166

Remaining: SRH (a), GT (h)

RCB have the advantage of a superior NRR compared to the other teams fighting to get to 16, but for that to be relevant, they will need to win a couple of games, or at least one. Two wins will give them an excellent chance of qualification due to their excellent NRR which got a significant boost from their stunning 112-run win against the Royals.

RCB have the advantage of playing the last game of the league stage – a home game against Gujarat Titans – which means they will know exactly what they’ll need to do. However, that last game could be inconsequential if they don’t win their away game in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Rajasthan Royals

Played 13, Points 12, NRR 0.140

Remaining: PBKS (a)

Royals can at best get to 14, which means several other results have to fall in place for them to qualify. Among the five teams who could finish on 14, Royals’ NRR of 0.140 is second only to that of Royal Challengers’ 0.166, despite the hammering it took from the drubbing against them. That means if the stars align perfectly, they could still have a shot at qualification. They need to help their own, cause, though, by beating Punjab Kings on Friday.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Played 13, Points 12, NRR -0.256

Remaining: LSG (h)

KKR’s best bet is if they win their last game by a healthy margin, and if Royals, RCB and Mumbai lose their remaining matches. Then, there will be a three-way tie on 14 between KKR, Kings and Mumbai. All three sides have negative NRRs at the moment, and Knight Riders will have a realistic chance of topping those two teams. For example, if they score 180 and win by 20 runs, their NRR will improve to -0.161, which is close to Mumbai Indian’s current rate.

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