Brisbane Heat have come back strongly into the reckoning for the playoffs on the back of a 37-ball 71 from AB de Villiers to climb up to No. 5 on the ladder. The 71-run win over the Melbourne Stars also improved their net run rate (NRR) from -0.58 to -0.23. It might come in handy should qualification come down to NRR. A tie on points is still possible in the event of a no-result in one of the remaining matches and a favourable result in the other. Heat will qualify for the playoffs irrespective of other results if they win against Renegades on Monday.
While Heat will know exactly what they need to do when they take on Renegades on Monday, here's a look at what Sunday's matches mean for the four teams involved.
Sydney Thunder v Perth Scorchers
Sydney Thunder, Points 11
Thunder's best chance to qualify is by winning this match, and winning it by as big a margin as possible. That will ensure they move ahead of the Hobart Hurricanes on NRR. If Heat beat the Renegades on Monday and the Hurricanes win their match against the Adelaide Strikers, it will come down to NRR between Thunder and the Hurricanes.
Here's an illustration of what Thunder would need to do to push their NRR above the Hurricanes'.
If Thunder and the Hurricanes score 180 batting first in their respective games, then Thunder have to beat the Scorchers by at least 14 runs to stand a chance of qualifying ahead of Hurricanes if the latter win by the narrowest of margins.
If Thunder and the Hurricanes concede 180 bowling first in their respective matches, then Thunder have to beat the Scorchers with at least 10 balls to spare to get ahead of the Hurricanes if the latter win off the last ball of the match against the Strikers (this will change based on the Hurricanes' final score).
If Thunder beat the Scorchers, but not by a margin that's big enough to take them ahead of the Hurricanes on NRR (and if the Hurricanes beat the Strikers), the Thunder can still qualify on points if Heat lose to the Renegades in the final match of the league stage.
If Thunder beat the Scorchers and one of either Hurricanes or Heat lose their respective matches, then Thunder will qualify on points.
Perth Scorchers, Points 12
If the Scorchers win, they qualify. If they lose, they have to make sure their NRR doesn't suffer by much. To qualify on 12 points, they will need both the Hurricanes and Heat to lose their respective matches. They will also require Heat to lose by a margin that is big enough to keep the Brisbane team below them on NRR.
If the Scorchers lose to Thunder, the Hurricanes-Strikers match is washed out, and the Renegades beat Heat on Monday, it will be a three-way tie on 12 points among the Scorchers, the Hurricanes and Heat. The fifth place will then be decided on NRR.
Adelaide Strikers v Hobart Hurricanes
Hobart Hurricanes, Points 11
They are in the same boat as Thunder. Their best chance to qualify is to beat the Strikers by a margin that is big enough for them to stay ahead of Thunder should it come down to NRR. Hurricanes will have the benefit of knowing exactly what to do to stay ahead of Thunder since they play the second match on Sunday.
If Thunder lose to the Scorchers and the Hurricanes beat the Strikers, then it will boil down to the result in Monday's match between Heat and the Renegades. If Heat lose, Hurricanes will make the playoffs. They won't if Heat win.
Adelaide Strikers, Points 17
They have to win their final match to finish in second place. They will tie with the Sydney Sixers on points but will be comfortably ahead of the Sydney team on NRR.