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Feature

Scenarios: LSG and Titans well-placed but nine teams still in contention

A negative NRR could leave RCB in a tight spot should they end up tied with multiple teams on points

S Rajesh
S Rajesh
09-May-2022
The RCB players are all smiles after a win, Lucknow Super Giants vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2022, DY Patil, Navi Mumbai, April 19, 2022

Given all the permutations still in play, it's possible for RCB to qualify with 14 points or get knocked out with 16  •  BCCI

Lucknow Super Giants: Mat 11, Pts 16, NRR 0.703
Remaining matches: vs GT, RR, KKR
Not only have Lucknow Super Giants moved to the top of the table by winning their last four matches, they also have an excellent net run rate of 0.703, easily the best among all teams this season. Another win will seal their place in the playoffs, but they will be aiming beyond that for a top-two finish. At the moment, it's still possible for Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals to finish on more than 18.
Defeats in their last three matches will keep Super Giants on 16 points with a possibility of five other teams joining them on 16 or more. Even with a healthy NRR at the moment, they will hope it doesn't come to that.
Gujarat Titans: Mat 11, Pts 16, NRR 0.120
Remaining matches: vs LSG, CSK, RCB
Titans have slipped one spot to second after two successive losses, but they are still comfortably placed to qualify. Like Super Giants, all they need to book a place in the playoffs is one win from their last three games.
However, if they lose all three they could be in trouble, for it's still possible for as many as six teams to finish on 16 or more points.
Rajasthan Royals: Mat 11, Pts 14, NRR 0.326
Remaining matches: vs DC, LSG, CSK
At the moment, Royals need two wins to be certain of qualification, though one victory should probably suffice. Their NRR of 0.326 is second only to that of Super Giants, which could come in handy, but that could change too depending on how the results go over the last two weeks.
Even if they lose all their remaining games and finish on 14, Royals could still finish as the fourth team without NRR coming into play, but for that to happen several other results will have to go their way.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Mat 12, Pts 14, NRR -0.115
Remaining matches: vs PBKS, GT
Royal Challengers Bangalore are on 14 points like Rajasthan Royals, but they have played an extra game and have a much poorer NRR. Both those factors leave them with less room to manoeuvre. However, there are still so many possibilities at this late stage in the league that Royal Challengers could miss out on the playoffs with 16 points, or qualify without NRR coming into play with 14. To be sure of qualification, they need two wins and 18 points.
Delhi Capitals: Mat 11, Pts 10, NRR 0.150
Remaining matches: vs RR, PBKS, MI
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Mat 11, Pts 10, NRR -0.031
Remaining matches: vs KKR, MI, PBKS
Punjab Kings: Mat 11, Pts 10, NRR -0.231
Remaining matches: vs RCB, DC, SRH
These three teams are bunched together with 10 points from 11 matches each. Each of them has a chance to qualify if they win their remaining games and finish on 16, though it could still come down to NRR. If they lose one, then they will have to hope that at least one of Royals or Royal Challengers - who are both currently on 14 - lose all their remaining games and stay on 14, along with the other two teams in contention here. Royal Challengers already have a negative NRR, which means the rest will fancy their chances if it comes down to a net-run-rate battle against them.
Delhi Capitals are the only team among the three to currently have a positive NRR, while Punjab Kings are the only team among them who don't have a game to play against Mumbai Indians, the one team who are out of the competition for sure. Sunrisers Hyderabad have the worst momentum of the lot, having lost four on the trot.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Mat 12, Pts 10, NRR -0.057
Remaining matches: vs SRH, LSG
Chennai Super Kings: Mat 11, Pts 8, NRR 0.028
Remaining matches: vs MI, GT, RR
Both Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings are in a situation where they have to win their remaining games and finish on 14 points, and then hope that other results go their way. Since four teams are already on 14 or more, the best-case scenario for these two teams is a net-run-rate confrontation. On that aspect, Super Kings are slightly better off at the moment as they have a positive NRR despite winning only four games out of 11.
In fact, it is still possible that apart from Super Giants, Titans and Mumbai Indians, the other seven teams all finish on 14 points while fighting for two spots. Now that would be a net-run-rate scenario like never before.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats