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Scenarios: All eyes on Capitals and RCB with one round of fixtures remaining

The hopes of Sunrisers, Kings and KKR hinge on these two teams slipping up

S Rajesh
S Rajesh
Delhi Capitals have a massive NRR advantage over Royal Challengers Bangalore though both teams have 14 points from 13 games  •  BCCI

Delhi Capitals have a massive NRR advantage over Royal Challengers Bangalore though both teams have 14 points from 13 games  •  BCCI

With each team having just one match left to play in the league stage, here is what the qualification chances look like for the seven teams still in the running for playoffs spots but haven't sealed one yet.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Mat 13, Pts 12, NRR -0.230
Remaining match: vs PBKS
Sunrisers Hyderabad finally broke their run of five successive defeats, but the margin of their victory against Mumbai Indians was only three runs. That means their qualification chances are still extremely slim due to their poor net run rate of -0.230.
Even if they win their last game, and if Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore lose theirs, the margins of two of those results will have to be huge for Sunrisers to have any chance. If, for example, Capitals lose by 50 runs chasing 200 in their last game against Mumbai Indians, Sunrisers will have win by 73 (if they score 200) against Punjab Kings to surpass Capitals' NRR.
Also, they will have to hope that Kolkata Knight Riders lose their last game against Lucknow Super Giants and remain on 12 points; otherwise, Sunrisers will have to exceed the NRR of Knight Riders too.
Delhi Capitals: Mat 13, Pts 14, NRR 0.255
Remaining match: vs MI
Delhi Capitals' comfortable 17-run win against Punjab Kings on Monday was good news for them, but not so encouraging for all the other teams trying to sneak into the playoffs. Their net run rate, which was already a healthy 0.210, went up to 0.255, but the runs that Punjab Kings scored towards the end ensured there is still a chance for other teams to catch up, should there be an NRR scramble for the last spot.
From Capitals' point of view, the equation is simple: win the last game against Mumbai Indians on Saturday, and they qualify for sure. Even if they lose and stay on 14, they will have a fair chance to qualify if Royal Challengers Bangalore lose to Gujarat Titans. However, if it comes down to NRR, they aren't yet safe.
If Capitals lose their last game by 30 runs (chasing 171), their NRR will fall to 0.123. Currently Kolkata Knight Riders are at 0.160, so a win by any margin in their last game will keep them above 0.123. If Capitals lose by 15, their NRR will be 0.179. Thus, Capitals could still be on a sticky wicket if they lose to Mumbai Indians. They play their last game after Knight Riders, though, so they will know the equation before they get into that game on Saturday.
Punjab Kings: Mat 13, Pts 12, NRR -0.043
Remaining match: vs SRH
Kings' qualification chances have taken a severe beating with their loss to Capitals. Their NRR has slid into negative space, and even a 40-run win against Sunrisers in their last game (after scoring 170) will only improve it to 0.112. However, big victory margins have been common in the last few games - in seven of the last 13, the winning margin has been greater than 50 runs, while another win came with 31 balls to spare - which should give Kings some hope.
They also play the last game of the league stage, which means they'll know if they have a chance at all, and exactly what they need to do. Obviously, if Capitals or Royal Challengers win their last match and move to 16 points, Kings will be knocked out.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Mat 13, Pts 14, NRR -0.323
Remaining match: vs GT
Royal Challengers will need Capitals to lose their last game to stand a chance of qualifying. Even if Royal Challengers score 200 and win their last game by 100 runs, their NRR will only improve to 0.071. Capitals will be well ahead of that if they win by any margin.
And if both these teams lose and stay on 14, Capitals will have to lose by an absurdly high margin for their NRR to slip below that of Royal Challengers. For instance, if Royals Challengers lose by one run, Capitals will have to lose by around 150 (depending on the exact scores).
In other words, Royal Challengers will have to win their last game, against table-toppers Titans, and hope that Capitals lose theirs against bottom-of-the-table Mumbai Indians.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Mat 13, Pts 12, NRR 0.160
Remaining match: vs LSG
Knight Riders still have a chance of qualifying if they win their last game, and if Capitals and Royal Challengers lose theirs. As mentioned earlier, their relatively healthy NRR means they are best placed to capitalise if those two teams slip up.
Lucknow Super Giants: Mat 13, Pts 16, NRR 0.262
Remaining match: vs KKR
Lucknow Super Giants are already on 16, a tally that only four other teams can reach. Among them is Royal Challengers, with an NRR of -0.323. For Super Giants to lose out on a playoffs spot, they will have to suffer a big defeat against Knight Riders while Royal Challengers pull off a huge win against Titans.
If Super Giants lose by 60 runs (chasing 201), Royal Challengers will have win by 89 (after scoring 200) to sneak ahead on NRR. That means Super Giants should consider their qualification chances pretty safe. They will be aiming higher than that, and will want to finish among the top two. That will depend entirely on the results of the last games of Super Giants and Rajasthan Royals, who are also on 16 points, but with a slightly better NRR.
Rajasthan Royals: Mat 13, Pts 16, NRR 0.304
Remaining match: vs CSK
Like Super Giants, Royals are quite safe in terms of securing a place in the last four. For them to lose out, they will have to lose by 80 runs, while Royal Challengers will have to win their last game by the same margin (or the sum of the margins of these results will have to be roughly 160, depending on the actual scores).
If both Royals and Super Giants win their last game, NRR will decide who finishes second and plays the first qualifier. If Super Giants score 180 and beat Knight Riders by 20 runs, Royals will need a 10-run win with the same total to stay ahead on NRR.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats