As we approach the business end of the IPL, all speculation is centred around which will be the fourth team alongside Delhi Capitals, Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the playoffs.
As at the time of writing this article, only two league matches remain to be played: DC vs RCB, and MI vs SRH. With their 86-run win over Rajasthan Royal on October 7, Kolkata Knight Riders have all but cemented their place in the playoffs. The win has kept KKR firmly in 4th place on the points table which read as under.
|IPL Points Table at the end of matches on October 7, 2021|
|2||Chennai Super Kings||14||9||5||0||18||0.455|
|3||Royal Challengers Bangalore||13||8||5||0||16||-0.159|
|4||Kolkata Knight Riders||14||7||7||0||14||0.587|
Mumbai Indians Need a Miracle
While KKR have virtually qualified for the playoffs, MI could still qualify ahead of Eoin Morgan’s wards. But the defending champions would need a miracle to be able to upset KKR’s applecart. KKR are currently on 14 points from 7 wins. A win against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last game on October 8 would bring MI on par with 7 wins. However, KKR are ahead on the Net Run Rate (NRR). While KKR have a positive NRR of 0.587, MI are languishing with a (negative) NRR of -0.048. To qualify for the playoffs ahead of KKR, MI would not only have to beat SRH but do so by a huge margin to get ahead on NRR. That could be better achieved if MI batted first. Let’s consider the possibilities. Supposing MI were to bat first and score 250 and restrict SRH to 80, they would register a 170-run victory. That would just be enough as it would boost MI’s NRR to 0.59, ahead of KKR’s current NRR. But that is easier said than done.
Can Royal Challengers Bangalore Finish Second?
The other question that intrigues RCB fans is whether their favourite team can beat Delhi Capitals by a sufficiently large margin to be able to get ahead of CSK on the points table. If they beat DC in their last league match, RCB would get on par with CSK on points. But they are currently well below CSK on NRR. To trump CSK on NRR, RCB would need to bat first and score 250 before restricting DC to a score of 85 — easier said than done. Chasing a modest target in their previous game versus SRH, RCB lost by 4 runs. Had they won that match, they would have needed to beat DC to finish ahead of CSK on the table.
Intriguing Last League Games
The IPL playoffs are around the corner. Probably, one of Delhi Capitals, Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders will end up winning the title. Do you know which team will prevail? If so, hurry and take advantage of 1xbet bonus code, bet365 bonus code, comeon bonus code, betway bonus code and 10CRIC bonus code offers to monetise your ability to predict the outcomes.