Champions League scenarios, Group B

Somerset best placed to make the cut

The semi-final scenarios for group B

S Rajesh

October 3, 2011

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With only three matches to go, Group B is still wide open, with all teams having a theoretical chance of making the semi-finals. Here's what each team needs to do (and what they need other teams to do) to qualify for the last four.


Daniel Vettori is congratulated on dismissing Justin Kreusch, Royal Challengers Bangalore v Warriors, CLT20, Bangalore, September 23, 2011
Royal Challengers Bangalore haven't won a single game so far, but two big wins might yet give them a shot at the semi-finals © Associated Press
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Warriors
They're currently sitting on top of the group with four points, but whether they make the next stage or not depends largely on what they do in their final game, against Somerset on Wednesday.

If they win, they're through. If they lose, it could get complicated: they'll have to hope that South Australia lose to Royal Challengers in the last match; else Somerset and South Australia will both have more points and will qualify. Even if South Australia lose to Royal Challengers, Warriors will have to ensure they don't lose to Somerset by a margin that will pull their net run rate below that of Kolkata Knight Riders, who have four points and a NRR of +0.306. Warriors are currently on +0.592, but they don't have much room to manoeuvre: if they're chasing 140 against Somerset and lose by eight or more runs, their NRR will slip below that of Knight Riders.

The weather in Bangalore has had most teams fretting, but the one side which will welcome rain is Warriors. One point in the last game will leave them with five, which means Somerset will be the only side that could go past them. South Australia could reach five points as well, but their NRR is languishing at -0.775: they'll have to beat Royal Challengers by at least 67 runs (if they bat first and score 160) to go past Warriors' NRR.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata have played all their matches and their fate rests entirely on the hands of the other teams (and the weather). If all three matches produce decisive results, Knight Riders' best chance is this: Somerset lose both their matches, while Royal Challengers win theirs. In such a scenario, Warriors will move to the top of the table, with Knight Riders and Royal Challengers tied in second place on four points. If Royal Challengers don't win by huge margins, Knight Riders will stay ahead on NRR.

Knight Riders will also go through if Somerset beat Warriors by a margin that is enough to pull the Warriors' NRR below that of Knight Riders (see the write-up for Warriors above). In this case, South Australia will have to lose to Royal Challengers so that they stay on three points.

Somerset
Somerset are the only unbeaten team in the tournament so far, and with three points from two games, they have an excellent chance of making it to the next stage. One win in their next two games will almost certainly get them through. Even if they beat Royal Challengers and lose to Warriors, and if South Australia win their last game, Somerset and South Australia will be level on points, with Somerset currently far ahead on NRR.

South Australia
With three points in three games and a terrible NRR, South Australia's equation is fairly simple: they must win to give themselves any chance of making the semi-finals. Even if they win, they'll have to hope other results go their way. If Warriors beat Somerset, who in turn beat Royal Challengers, then South Australia will most likely miss the cut even if they win their last game.

Royal Challengers Bangalore
They're the only team not to have won a match in the tournament so far, but if they win their last two matches, Royal Challengers may yet have a chance of qualification. To do so, they'll have to go past the NRR of Warriors or Knight Riders (depending on the result of the Somerset v Warriors game). Royal Challengers' NRR is currently -0.648, but if, for instance, they score 140 in their last two matches and win them by 25 runs, they'll sneak ahead of Knight Riders' NRR.

However, if either of their two games is washed out, then Royal Challengers' Champions League campaign will end before the semi-finals.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

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S Rajesh 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.
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Mum Indians won by 31 runs
Mum Indians v Somerset at Chennai - Oct 8, 2011
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RCB v NSW at Bangalore - Oct 7, 2011
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RCB v South Aust at Bangalore - Oct 5, 2011
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