IPL 2021 – Playoffs qualification scenario

IPL 2021 – Playoffs qualification scenario

After 49 matches into the 14th edition of IPL, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore have assured of a spot in the playoffs while Sunrisers Hyderabad have missed out for the first time since 2016. With seven matches left in the league phase, four sides are still in contention for the remaining two places and the top two slots still undecided. Here’s what each of the sides has to do to ensure qualification to the Playoffs.

Team Mat Won Lost Points NRR
Chennai Super Kings (Q) 12 9 3 18 0.829
Delhi Capitals (Q) 12 9 3 18 0.551
Royal Challengers Bangalore (Q) 12 8 4 16 -0.157
Kolkata Knight Riders 13 6 7 12 0.294
Punjab Kings 13 5 8 10 -0.241
Rajasthan Royals 12 5 7 10 -0.337
Mumbai Indians 12 5 7 10 -0.453
Sunrisers Hyderabad 12 2 10 4 -0.475

Kolkata Knight Riders

Of the four teams in contention, Kolkata Knight Riders is best placed thanks to their superior net run rate. If they beat Rajasthan Royals in their final league game, they should be most likely through. In that scenario, only Mumbai Indians can match them on 14 points, but MI would need to win their last two matches by a combined aggregate of around 190 runs to go past KKR’s net run rate. If KKR lose to RR, then they would require MI to beat RR and SRH to beat MI, which would leave multiple teams on 12 points each and net run rate would help KKR pip the rest.

Remaining game: vs RR (Oct 7)

Rajasthan Royals

The equation for Sanju Samson’s men is simple: beat MI and KKR and they are through. If they lose both those matches, they stand eliminated. If they beat MI and lose to KKR, that would also lead to RR’s exit as KKR would then get to 14 points and RR can reach only 12 points. But if they lose to MI and beat KKR, then they would also require SRH to beat MI so that MI also stay on 12 points. However, in case of a 12-point tie, RR is 0.631 points behind KKR’s net run rate and they would need to beat KKR by around 75 runs in their final league game to get ahead of KKR’s current net run rate.

Remaining games: vs MI (Oct 5), vs KKR (Oct 7)

Mumbai Indians

MI find themselves on shaky grounds with two matches to go. Their best-case scenario is to win both their remaining matches and hope RR get the better of KKR. In that case, MI will get to 14 points while KKR and RR both finish on 12 each and net run rate does not come into the picture. MI could get eliminated even if they win their last two matches, on net run rate, if KKR beat RR. MI is currently 0.747 points behind KKR’s net run rate and would need to win their final two league games by a combined aggregate of around 190 runs to go past KKR’s current NRR. If they lose both their final matches, they stand eliminated.

Remaining games: vs RR (Oct 5), vs SRH (Oct 8)

Punjab Kings

PBKS is theoretically still in contention but for all practical purposes, their season is all but over. They can only get to 12 points and would require neither KKR, RR or MI to go past 12 points. For that to happen, PBKS has to beat table toppers CSK first and then RR has to beat KKR and lose to MI, and then MI has to lose to SRH. PBKS’s net run rate is -0.241 and it would require a big win against CSK to lift it past the other contenders – especially KKR – to stand any chance of qualification.

Remaining game: vs CSK (Oct 7)

Who can finish in the top two?

CSK, DC and RCB all can still aim for a top-two spot, which will provide an extra opportunity in the playoffs. If CSK beat DC on Monday (Oct 4), CSK are assured of a top-two finish as only one of DC or RCB can then get to 20 points, with the two teams scheduled to play each other. But if it is DC who comes on top on Monday, it still opens up the possibility of all three teams finishing on 20 points each. For that to happen, CSK has to beat PBKS and RCB has to win their remaining fixtures against SRH and DC. Having said that, CSK (+0.829) and DC (+0.551) are way ahead of RCB’s net run rate of -0.157, giving them more leverage in the event of a three-way tie on 20 points.

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