Seven teams in line for two spots
With just one round of matches to go in the Ranji Trophy group stage, several teams are still in the hunt for a quarter-final spot, with only two teams - Punjab and Uttar Pradesh - certain of making the next stage. Here's what each team needs to do to progress.
Current situation: Punjab are the only team from the group to have played all eight, and are sitting pretty on 32 points. However, most of the other teams are bunched together, with eight points separating the second-placed Gujarat (21) from the seventh-ranked Bengal (13). Click here for details.
Current situation: Uttar Pradesh are on top with 27, while Baroda, the only team to have played all eight matches, are second on 22. However, only six points separates the third-placed Vidarbha from the eighth-ranked Haryana.
Uttar Pradesh - 27 points in 7 matches; last match v Odisha
With 27 points, Uttar Pradesh are not only assured a place in the quarter-finals, but also the top spot in group B. Baroda have 22 points, but they've played all eight matches, while the third-placed Vidarbha have only 19.
Baroda - 22 points in 8 matches; all matches played
Baroda are in second place on 22 points and have an excellent chance of qualifying, but they aren't quite completely safe yet. For instance, if Odisha beat Uttar Pradesh without a bonus point in Cuttack, they'll be level with Baroda but with more wins, while the winner of the Vidarbha-Delhi game will also go past 22 points. Also, Karnataka could join Baroda on 22 if they beat Maharashtra with a bonus point.
Vidarbha - 19 points in 7 matches; last match v Delhi
Vidarbha need at least the first-innings points from their last game - at home against Delhi - to feel reasonably safe about qualifying. If they take three points and go to 22, they'll join Baroda, though Odisha and even Karnataka will have a chance of getting to 22. An outright win will assure them of a quarter-final berth.
Delhi - 17 points in 7 matches; last match v Vidarbha
Currently in fourth place, Delhi need to manage at least first-innings points to be in contention. In they get up to 20, they'll be level with Vidarbha; if Odisha, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu (or Haryana) don't win their games, they'll all finish below 20, leaving Delhi to battle with Vidarbha for the last slot. If Delhi win, though, they'll be certain of qualification.
Odisha - 16 points in 7 matches; last match v Uttar Pradesh
Odisha are currently in fifth place, and they need seven points - a win with a bonus - to assure themselves of a quarter-final slot. Even if they win without bonus, they'll stand a reasonable chance of qualifying: they'll be level with Baroda on 22, with the advantage of achieving three outright wins, compared to two by Baroda. Thus, even if other teams join them on 22 - there's a theoretical possibility of four teams ending up there - Odisha will be the only one among them with three wins. However, to get there, they'll have to beat the group toppers, Uttar Pradesh (though Odisha will have home advantage in the game).
Karnataka - 15 points in 7 matches; last match v Maharashtra
Karnataka have had a poor season so far, winning only one match out of seven, but they still have a shot at qualifying. For that to happen though, they need to win their last match, and hope that other results go their way. A win without bonus will take them to 21, which will be enough if Delhi take first-innings points against Vidarbha, and if Odisha don't secure an outright win. However, if the Vidarbha-Delhi match produces a decisive result, then Karnataka will be out regardless of how their match goes.
Tamil Nadu - 13 points in 7 matches; last match v Haryana
Tamil Nadu are languishing in seventh spot, and only Maharashtra have fewer points than them. However, the difference between them and the third-placed team is six points, which means they still have a theoretical chance of making the cut. For that to happen, though, Tamil Nadu need to win with a bonus point, and then hope that other results go their way. For a start, Delhi will need to take first-innings points against Vidarbha, but not win outright. Also, neither of Karnataka and Odisha should win their games. If all those results happen, then three teams - Vidarbha, Delhi and Tamil Nadu - will be level on 20 points with two wins each, bringing the quotients into play.
Haryana - 13 points in 7 matches; last match v Tamil Nadu
Haryana's position is exactly like Tamil Nadu's, and since these two are playing each other, Haryana's scenario for qualification is exactly the same as Tamil Nadu's, except that they need to beat Tamil Nadu with a bonus point.
Maharashtra, with 11 points, have no chance of qualification. However, given that the bottom-ranked team will be relegated to group C, there's plenty of motivation for the cellar-dwellers of group B to be at their best in their last match of the season.
Current situation: Services have a five-point lead over the second-placed Andhra Pradesh (26 points to 21). However, only eight points separate Andhra from the eighth-ranked Goa (13). Also, only two teams will qualify for the quarter-finals from this group. Click here for details.
S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter