IPL Quarterfinals to be energy packed

IPL Quarterfinals to be energy packed

(Cricinfo) ¬†With only four games to go in the league stage of the 2015 IPL, there are five teams still fighting for a spot in the top-four, with each of them having a realistic, and not merely mathematical, chance of making it. Chennai Super Kings had already secured their spot a couple of games ago, and Royal Challengers Bangalore too have all but confirmed their place with a thrilling win against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Super Kings’ final match against Kings XI Punjab is not inconsequential though, because a win will guarantee them a spot in the top-two, a significant advantage considering how those teams have two opportunities to make the final (through Qualifier 1 and Qualifier 2).

Royal Challengers Bangalore (15 points, to play DD at home)
Mathematically, Royal Challengers need to win their remaining match in order to ensure qualification; however, their net run rate is so high (+1.037) that they are as good as through. The only way Royal Challengers can be knocked out is if they lose their last game by a huge margin – more than 140 runs – and Kolkata Knight Riders also lose their last match, but by the narrowest of margins (1 run), leaving both teams tied on 15 points (and seven wins* each). Knight would then have a better NRR, but unless than happens, Royal Challengers will have the better NRR and will be through. If Sunday’s game is washed out, though, they Royal Challengers will definitely not finish among the top two, even though they would be in the top four.

*As per IPL rules, in case teams are tied on points, number of wins will take precedence over NRR

Kolkata Knight Riders (15 points, to play RR away)
Knight Riders essentially need to win their last game to qualify. As discussed above, they could mathematically qualify even if they lose their last game, that is, if Knight Riders lose by 1 run, Royal Challengers would have lose by more than 140 runs. If Knight Riders lose their last game and Royal Challengers win theirs, Knight Riders are out.

Sunrisers Hyderabad (14 points, to play MI at home)
Sunrisers have their task cut out – if they win they will qualify, else they are out. If the game against Mumbai Indians is washed out, Sunrisers could be tied on 15 points with Mumbai Indians, and with Knight Riders and Royal Challengers if they lose their last matches. In fact, it is possible that all 4 teams could be tied on exactly 15 points (and exactly seven wins each). However, since Sunrisers’ NRR (-0.033) is inferior to that of Knight Riders and Royal Challengers, this scenario is unlikely to pan out in their favour.

Mumbai Indians (14 points, to play SRH away)
Mumbai Indians need to win their final game in order to qualify. Any other result will not be favourable for them. A washout will not help them as their NRR is poorer than those of Royal Challengers, Knight Riders and Sunrisers, the other teams who could also be on 15. A win, though, will definitely get them through.

Rajasthan Royals (14 points, to play KKR at home)
Rajasthan Royals will be most disappointed by the situation they find themselves in. Royals had lost only two of their first nine matches, but with three losses from their last four games, they now have to win their last league match in order to qualify. Royals do not even have a mathematical chance of qualifying if they don’t win, whether on account of a washout or an NRR situation. This is because they currently have only six wins with each of the other contenders already having seven. However, if they win they are definitely through.

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