Rajasthan Royals' excellent seven-wicket win against Kings XI Punjab keeps them firmly in the hunt for a playoff spot, while also ensuring that one of Delhi Capitals or Royal Challengers Bangalore will finish in the top two. Here is a look at how things stand going into the last weekend of the league stage.
Rajasthan Royals: Played 13, Points 12, NRR -0.377
Remaining match: vs Knight Riders
Royals have given their qualification hopes a lift with the win on Friday, but they will still depend on other results going their way even if they win their last game, against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday.
Their best-case scenario will be if Kings XI lose their final game and if Sunrisers Hyderabad win no more than one. Then they will go through with 14 points, without net run rates coming into play.
Even with NRR, Royals can still make it if Delhi Capitals (or Royal Challengers Bangalore) lose both their matches and stay on 14. It is then possible for Royals to sneak past them on run rate.
Kings XI Punjab: Played 13, Points 12, NRR -0.133
Remaining matches: vs Super Kings
The defeat to Royals means Kings XI are also now dependent on other results to qualify. Even if they beat Chennai Super Kings in their last game on Sunday, they will not make it if Sunrisers win both games, and if the loser of the Capitals-Royal Challengers game finishes higher on the points table (either in terms of points or NRR) than Kings XI.
However, if Sunrisers lose one of their last two games, then Kings XI will have an excellent chance of qualifying with 14 points.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Played 12, Points 14, NRR 0.048
Remaining matches: vs Sunrisers, Capitals
Royal Challengers will qualify if they win one of their two remaining matches. Even if they lose both matches and stay on 14 they can still qualify without run-rates coming into play, but for that to happen several other results will have to go their way.
However, losing both games will affect their NRR, which could result in their elimination if other teams on 14 have higher run rates.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Played 12, Points 10, NRR 0.396
Remaining matches: vs Royal Challengers, Mumbai
Kings XI's defeat is good news for Sunrisers, for they can now qualify for the playoffs by winning their last two matches, regardless of other results. That is because a maximum of three teams can reach 16 points, and the other teams on 14 are too far behind Sunrisers' NRR. Even if Sunrisers win their last two matches by a run each, Kings XI - the team with the best chance of improving their run rate - will have to win their last game by around 130 runs to go past Sunrisers' NRR.
However, if Sunrisers lose either of the two matches, they will be out.
Delhi Capitals: Played 12, Points 14, NRR 0.030
Remaining matches: vs Mumbai, Royal Challengers
Like the Royal Challengers, the Capitals too need a win to seal their playoff place, but their last two games are against the top two teams on the table, and the Capitals will go into Saturday's game against Mumbai Indians on a three-match losing streak.
Capitals cannot afford another meltdown like the one they had against Sunrisers: if they lose their last two, it is entirely possible that they will be eliminated as two other teams can easily go past their NRR.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Played 13, Points 12, NRR -0.467br> Remaining matches: vs Rajasthan Royals
Knight Riders' NRR is so poor that their only chance of qualification is if they beat Royals and finish on 14, and none of the other contenders get to that tally. That means Kings XI should lose their last game to Super Kings, while Sunrisers should win no more than one of their last two matches. In that case, Mumbai Indians, Capitals, Royal Challengers and Knight Riders will qualify for the playoffs.
Mumbai Indians: Played 12, Points 16, NRR 1.186
Remaining matches: vs Capitals, Sunrisers
Mumbai Indians are already through to the playoffs, and thanks to their excellent NRR, it is almost certain that they will also finish in the top two. That is because only one of the Capitals or the Royal Challengers can finish on 18, and in a battle between teams tied on 16, Mumbai are too far ahead on NRR compared to Capitals and Royal Challengers.