New Delhi: As we enter the last week of the Indian Premiere League (IPL) league matches, calculations by franchises to make it to the play-offs have begun, and almost all teams are in contention to make the final cut.
Although only four teams qualify for the next round and two berths have already been sealed by the Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings — who qualified after winning 16 points each — even the last-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore technically have a chance to qualify, through mathematical calculations.
On ground, though, it seems impossible for them, along with Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders. The curious case of net run rate will now play a vital role in determining the fate of lower placed teams.
For the Virat Kohli-led RCB, which is last on the table, the only way they can qualify is through a massive victory in their last league match, as the April 30 match against the Rajasthan Royals was washed out and both the teams were given one point each.
The third team which could easily qualify is Mumbai Indians, who are left with two home matches to be played against SRH and KKR.
The fight is for the fourth berth and almost three teams (SRH, KKR, RR) remain in contention, with 12, 10 and 11 points respectively. SRH would be playing the restof the matches without Johny Bairstow and David Warner, who have returned to their respective countries for World Cup preparations.
The last league match will be last played on May 5 between MI and KKR, and thereafter, the qualification round will begin from May 7. The finale is to be played on May 12 at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad.