Matches (21)
IPL (2)
ACC Premier Cup (3)
County DIV1 (5)
County DIV2 (4)
Women's QUAD (2)
WI 4-Day (4)
Pakistan vs New Zealand (1)

How RCB can still make the knockouts

Despite losing all five of their games so far, they can mathematically still finish in the top three

S Rajesh
S Rajesh
Despite being winless so far, RCB still have a better NRR than Gujarat Giants  •  BCCI

Despite being winless so far, RCB still have a better NRR than Gujarat Giants  •  BCCI

Five defeats in five matches isn't how Royal Challengers Bangalore would have imagined their WPL would start, but the silver lining is that despite their winless record so far, they aren't out of the tournament yet. Thanks to the utter domination of the top two teams - Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals - the third spot is still up for grabs, and Royal Challengers are still not completely out of it.
In fact, if they win their last three games, it is still possible that they could make the top three without net run rates coming into play. That sounds incredible given how far behind they are at the moment, but if Mumbai Indians win every game except the one against Royal Challengers, and if Capitals win two of their last three (losing only to Mumbai Indians), then those two teams will finish on 14 and 12 points.
That means only 14 points will be available to the three other teams (since there is a total of 20 matches, or 40 points, on offer). If UP Warriorz lose all their remaining games, they will stay on four points, while Gujarat Giants will also finish on four if they lose all their remaining games except the one against UP Warriorz. In such a scenario, six points will be enough for Royal Challengers to occupy third place without NRR coming into play.
If Warriorz or Giants win another game, it could still come down to run rates. Currently, despite losing five out of five, Royal Challengers have a better NRR than Giants (-2.109 to -3.397).
Such a turnaround sounds improbable, but it has happened in the past. In the 2015-16 WBBL, Sydney Sixers lost their first six games, before going on a tear and winning eight in a row to qualify for the semi-finals, where they beat Hobart Hurricanes before eventually going down to Sydney Thunder in the final.
In the 2014 IPL, Mumbai Indians lost their first five, before winning seven of their next nine to qualify for the playoffs. Royal Challengers need many other results to go in their favour in they are to emulate those two teams, but to start with, they need to do what's in their control and win their last three games.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats