IPL 2017 May 13, 2017

Mumbai Indians almost assured of top-two finish

With only four league matches left, we still do not know the final four yet. Since only Mumbai Indians have sealed a playoff berth, let's look at what the other teams need to do to make it to the qualifiers

© ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Going into the last week, it appeared the top four teams at that stage would be a shoo-in to duly take their places in the playoffs. However, thanks to some unexpected results in the last week - most notably Kings XI Punjab beating Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, and Rising Pune Supergiant losing to Delhi Daredevils - there is still plenty to play for, for the five teams that still have a shot at the top four slots. Mumbai Indians are assured a top-two slot, while Knight Riders are sure of a playoff berth, which leaves three teams fighting it out for two places.

Mumbai Indians

With Rising Pune losing to Daredevils, Mumbai Indians are pretty much assured a top-two finish. Even if they lose to Knight Riders, and Rising Pune beat Kings XI, the margins of those results have to be outlandish to ensure Mumbai Indians' net run rate drops below that of Rising Pune. For that to happen, each of those results will need to be in the vicinity of around 115 runs - if Mumbai Indians lose by such a margin and if Rising Pune win by that much, then Mumbai Indians will drop down to third. For all practical purposes, Mumbai Indians are assured of playing the first qualifier at their home fortress.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Knight Riders are certain to make the playoffs, even if they lose to Mumbai Indians and Kings XI beat Rising Pune. If that happens, and if Sunrisers finish on 17 by beating Gujarat Lions, then the team that will be eliminated will be Rising Pune, because of their poor net run rate (NRR). However, Knight Riders will want to finish in the top two, which will happen for sure if they win their last game; Rising Pune's NRR is too low for them to sneak past Knight Riders. Even if they lose, Knight Riders can finish in the top two if Sunrisers lose, and if Kings XI win by a not-too-huge margin.

Sunrisers Hyderabad would be in a party mode if they win against Gujarat Lions on Saturday © BCCI

Sunrisers Hyderabad

The washout against Royal Challengers Bangalore means Sunrisers are the odd ones out with an odd-numbered points tally, which means they are not caught up in the NRR rat race. If they win, they are through to the playoffs for sure; if they lose, they can still make it if Kings XI lose to Rising Pune. Sunrisers can finish in the top two if Knight Riders and Rising Pune both lose their last matches.

Rising Pune Supergiant

Rising Pune's defeat to Daredevils means they could still miss out on a playoff spot if they lose their last game, and if Sunrisers win theirs. Since their NRR (-0.083) is so poor, they are the team who will be knocked out if five teams finish on 16 or more points. If they win, and if Knight Riders lose to Mumbai Indians, then Rising Pune will finish second. However, since they are playing the last meaningful game of the league stage, they will know exactly what they are playing for: if Sunrisers win, then Rising Pune will need to win to make the playoffs; if Sunrisers lose and if Mumbai Indians beat Knight Riders, then Rising Pune will have a top-two spot to play for on Sunday, though a loss will still put them in the playoffs anyway as the fourth team.

Kings XI Punjab

After the defeat to Lions last Sunday, Kings XI were languishing on 10 points from 11 games, but two tough wins in the last week, and Rising Pune's botched-up chase in Delhi, has put Kings XI's fate in their own hands: beat Rising Pune and qualify for the last four regardless of other results. They could even finish in the top two, but that is an extremely long shot: for that to happen, Sunrisers will have to lose, and both Mumbai and Kings XI will have to win pretty convincingly. If, for instance, both teams win by around 55 runs, then Knight Riders' NRR will drop marginally below Kings XI's. However, given the position they were in less than a week ago, Kings XI will be happy to be in a position where their qualification chances now rest in their own hands.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Karthi_2K11 on May 13, 2017, 13:11 GMT

    It is in the hands of the party-pooper (GL, which is already out) to make the final league match - somewhat of a dead rubber (insignificant match) for RPS. If GL wins v. SRH, & whatever the outcome of KKR-MI, RPS would still make it to the play-offs regardless of the outcome of their game v. KXIP. If GL wins, regardless of the outcome of the KKR-MI game, the final match v. RPS is a virtual knock-out for KXIP. If SRH beat GL, then, the last league match result would be a virtual quarter-final for both KXIP & RPS. The last league match is not a dead rubber, however, for SRH, if GL beat SRH. KXIP could still put paid to SRH's hopes, if they beat RPS regardless of KKR-MI. To MI & KKR, the outcome of any of these 3 remaining matches is of interest- only to know who is in 1-2 pole position for the play-offs. Out of 8 scenarios for the remaining 3 games, in 6 of them (esp. if SRH beat GL), we must wait for the outcome of the last 2 games, to know who is in the 3-4 positions for the Eliminator

  • cricfan8113223519 on May 13, 2017, 12:15 GMT

    last 3 matches (rcb,KKR,MI ) kings XI played they rode their luck which they should have lost and RPS lost a chase from winning position wonder their luck will continue ?

  • TSJ07 on May 13, 2017, 10:08 GMT

    SRH could be either 2nd on points table or out of the tournament. Wow!!!

  • cricfan4326190989 on May 13, 2017, 10:06 GMT

    Gujarat put to bat again. Sunrisers already on the top of this by putting them to bat. Looks like sunrisers will qualify today

  • cricfan5723203341 on May 13, 2017, 9:53 GMT

    KKR has already made it to the playoffs

  • mohsinirfa on May 13, 2017, 9:52 GMT

    The most important match is between Kings 11 and RPS. if Kings win then there are other possibilities. if Kings 11 loses, other 4 teams will go to play offs no matter what they do in their last match.

  • mohsinirfa on May 13, 2017, 9:49 GMT

    The most important match is between Kings 11 and RPS. if Kings win then there are other possibilities. if Kings 11 loses, other 4 teams will go to play offs no matter what they do in their last match.

  •   Krishna Murty Ryali on May 13, 2017, 9:49 GMT

    MI seems to be too powerful team for others though they lost games, were by whisker. RPS fought back well in this IPL and same can be said about Punjab as well. Sunrisers most inconsistent team in IPL, if they lose one match you can say they would lose next match for sure.

  • 01011983 on May 13, 2017, 9:41 GMT

    MI, KKR, Sunrisers & Kings XI Punjab would qualify for the Playoffs.

  • vxttemp on May 13, 2017, 7:44 GMT

    @CRICINFOUSER - KKR will not qualify only if they lose to MI by probably 180 runs or MI reaches their target in 6-7 overs :-) all other scenarios they can go through.... :-)

  • No featured comments at the moment.