Possible scenarios for KKR to qualify for playoffs after DC vs RCB game

The mess caused around playoff spots is likely to get cleared on Monday.

Pat Cummins of Kolkata Knight
Pat Cummins of Kolkata Knight Riders. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The excitement for the playoffs qualification in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 continues as four teams are still fighting out for three spots despite only two matches left to be played. Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals got knocked out of playoff race during Sunday’s doubleheader following their defeats against the Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders. The 60-run defeat for the Royals not only cost them a chance to finish in top four but also pushed them to bottom of the table, below the Chennai team.

The game between Kolkata and Rajasthan was overshadowed by the net run-rate calculations as both the teams needed a big win to confirm their spot in the playoffs without depending over the other teams. Eoin Morgan’s unbeaten 35-ball 68 powered KKR to 191/7 by smashing six maximums and five fours. Royals seemed to have come out with intention of chasing the total inside 14 overs to put their NRR ahead of RCB and DC.

They smashed 18 runs in the first four balls of the chase before collapsing against Pat Cummins. At the end of the 54th match in the league phase, the net run-rate of Kolkata reads -0.214. It is slightly behind the Royal Challengers Bangalore (-0.145) and Delhi Capitals (-0.159) who are currently placed at No.2 and No.3 respectively. Sunrisers Hyderabad, on the other hand, has a possibility of finishing with 14 points with a win over Mumbai Indians.

That result will give Hyderabad franchise a free pass into the playoffs as their NRR of +0.555 is only behind the table-toppers Mumbai Indians. As Mumbai could rest some of their big players on Tuesday, that could well make the things easier for the Hyderabad franchise. Hence, we could have the winner of Monday’s game between Delhi and Bangalore directly qualifying to the playoffs and the loser possibly finishing in bottom four. [Note: Washout can help both RCB and DC reach the playoffs but not a drop of rain is expected on Monday in Abu Dhabi.]

Unless the losing margin is of a couple of runs, the NRR of both Delhi and Bangalore won’t get improvised. On Monday, RCB should ensure they don’t lose by as big as 22 runs or with 18 balls to spare which could put their net run-rate below that of Kolkata while for the Delhi team, it is only 20 runs and 15 balls. [Note: NRR scenario requirements could differ by 1-2 runs or 1-2 balls based on the first innings total]

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