Sixty IPL 2022 games have been completed. We are still not sure which team will become the fourth to qualify for the play offs. A week ago, RCB’s fortunes appeared bright. However, RCB’s loss to PBKS has added another twist to the tale.
IPL Points Table as on 16 May 2022:
Highlights of the Week Gone By
PBKS beat RCB to keep playoff hopes alive
Promoted to opener, Jonny Bairstow came good, helping PBKS to beat RCB on 13 May. Bairstow and Dhawan put on a 60-run partnership in just 5 overs, and PBKS built on the momentum. Liam Livingstone helped put the finishing touches with 70 from 42 balls. Consequently, the Agarwal-led franchise finished with a formidable 209/9.
In reply, RCB weathered early wickets to build a launch pad at 104 for 3 in the 11th over. But the loss of Lomror and Maxwell in the space of a few balls destroyed any hopes of an improbable win. Among PBKS bowlers, Rabada (3/21) did the most damage, as RCB finished on 155/9.
Had RCB won the match at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium, PBKS would have been knocked out of the tournament. As it happened, RCB lost the match, hurting their NRR in the bargain.
DC compensate for loss to CSK by beating RR
DC’s thrilling win against RR on 11 May brought the Rishabh Pant-led franchise back into the reckoning. The win helped eclipse an inexplicable loss to CSK three days earlier.
Batting first in the game at Navi Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium, RR scored 160/6. After losing Jaiswal and Buttler cheaply, RR sent Ashwin (50 from 38 balls) to steady the innings in the company of Padikkal (48 from 30). But the lower middle order failed to capitalise on a platform of 125/3 in 16 overs.
Consequently, RR finished with about 20 runs fewer than they needed. In reply, DC brushed aside the early loss of opener S Bharat’s wicket with a 144-run stand between Warner and Marsh. In the process, they cruised to victory with 8 wickets and 11 balls to spare.
Key match between PBKS and DC on 16 March
GT, RR and LSG (teams with eight wins or more) have already qualified for the play offs. In an intriguing final week, we will see a triangular contest between PBKS, RCB and DC to decide the fourth play-off qualifier. PBKS vs DC on Monday, 16 March, could help decide the fate of either team.
The losing team would finish with seven wins at best. The winning team could qualify by winning their last game. While PBKS have a match versus SRH, DC are due to play MI.
Meanwhile, RCB could finish with eight wins if they won their last game versus GT. So, as things stand, either PBKS or DC could challenge RCB for the 4th play-off position.