Ranji Trophy 2012-13, Group C December 28, 2012

Services, Andhra favourites to qualify

Qualification scenarios for teams in Ranji Trophy Group C

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.

Group A
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 more details.

Group B
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. Click here for more details.

Group C
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.

Services - 26 points in 7 matches; last match v Jharkhand
Services have a five-point lead going into the last round, but aren't completely safe, given that two teams are one win away from catching up, if Services don't get more than one point in their last match. If, for instance, Andhra and Assam win their last matches and Services lose, then Services will slip to third position. Even if Services get one point, they may still slip to third place if Assam win with a bonus point, and if Andhra win and achieve a higher quotient. If Services get at least three points from their last game, then they are safe regardless of other results.

Andhra Pradesh - 21 points in 7 matches; last match v Kerala
Andhra are five points behind the leaders, and have three teams which are within three points of their 21. With only two spots available from this group, Andhra still have plenty to do. A win will put them in an excellent position, but if they manage only a first-innings lead, they'll need other results to go their way. If Assam beat Goa, for instance, then three points won't be enough for Andhra.

Assam - 20 points in 7 matches; last match v Goa
Assam are just one point behind Andhra, which means their situation is pretty similar, except that Assam's last match is against a weaker Goa (compared to Andhra's last game against Kerala). On the one hand, even a win may not be enough if Services and Andhra win their games; on the other, even a draw with first-innings lead might suffice if other results go their way.

Kerala - 18 points in 7 matches; last match v Andhra
Given that Kerala are playing their last game against Andhra, who're already three points ahead of them, they need a win to ensure Andhra don't add to their tally of 21. Even if Kerala win their match, they'll progress only if Assam don't beat Goa in their final match.

Jharkhand - 18 points in 7 matches; last match v Services
Like Kerala, Jharkhand are on 18 points, but their last game is against current table-toppers Services, in Delhi. A win will push them up to at least 24 points, but even then they'll depend on other results - especially in matches involving Andhra and Assam - going their way. However, three points will not suffice, as one of Andhra or Kerala will go beyond 21 points.

The other four teams - Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Goa and Tripura - have no chance of making the cut. Jammu & Kashmir could theoretically go up to 21 points if they beat Tripura with a bonus, but Andhra are already on 21 and will go past them if they get one point in their final match. If they lose, then Kerala, their opponents who are currently on 18, will go up to at least 24.

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