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Kolkata’s heavy defeat against Chennai has considerably set back their chances of a semi-final berth, but all isn’t yet lost for Sourav Ganguly and Co. The disadvantage for Kolkata is their net run rate, which, at -0.632, is the lowest among all the teams. The advantage is that they’ll be playing both of their last two matches at home, where they’ve won three out of five matches. The other advantage is the lack of consistency of the rest of the contestants – none of the other teams in the reckoning have shown the kind of form needed to pull away from the pack. If other results go Kolkata’s way – and if they win their last two matches, obviously – they can make the last four without even the need for net run rates to come into play. Consider the following scenario:
Bangalore, Deccan and Chennai lose their remaining matches, which means each of those teams stays at 12 points. If Rajasthan beat Bangalore and lose to Kolkata, they’ll go up to 14, while Delhi move to second place and 16 points with wins against Chennai and Deccan. In such a scenario, Mumbai and Delhi will take the top two places, with Rajasthan and Kolkata will be on 14, with four teams, including Punjab, tied on 12. (And if Bangalore beat Rajasthan, everything else remains the same with Bangalore replacing Rajasthan on 14 points.) Can someone please tell Shahrukh Khan and Ganguly that it ain’t all over yet?
S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on TwitterFeeds: S Rajesh
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Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.