Matches (14)
IND v AUS (1)
Marsh Cup (1)
Championship (W) (1)
T20WC QLF (2)
County DIV1 (5)
County DIV2 (4)

What do KKR and Rajasthan Royals need to do to qualify for the playoffs?

The losing team will have to depend on other results going in their favour

S Rajesh
S Rajesh
Kolkata Knight Riders come into the game on the back of a tightly-fought win  •  Associated Press

Kolkata Knight Riders come into the game on the back of a tightly-fought win  •  Associated Press

Rajasthan Royals

Played 11, Points 10, NRR 0.388
Rem mat: KKR (a), RCB (h), PBKS (a)

Kolkata Knight Riders

Played 11, Points 10, NRR -0.079
Rem mat: RR (h), CSK (a), LSG (h)
Both Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders are identically placed with 10 points from 11 games, but in terms of momentum, they are at very different places in their campaigns. Royals have lost five of their last six matches; Knight Riders have won three of their last four.
Also, both were involved in last-ball finishes in their most recent game, but while Royals made a mess of a match they should have definitely won against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Knight Riders came through in a tough chase against Punjab Kings.
Whichever team loses on Thursday will be up against it, as they can finish only on a maximum of 14 points. That will leave them depending on several other results, for as many as eight teams can finish on 14 or more points, including four on 16 or more. Thus, the team losing this game will be at the mercy of several other results going in their favour.
Even with 16 points (wins in each of their three remaining games), qualification isn't assured for either of these teams, because progress could still come down to net run rates. If it does come down to that, Royals are better placed with a relatively healthy value so far, but for it to be of consequence, they will have to start adding to their points tally as well.
Though Royals have the better NRR, Knight Riders have the advantage of two home games in hand, compared to just one for Royals. Neither team has made good use of home conditions, though - Knight Riders have won two of five, and Royals two of six - so Royals might actually be relieved to be playing away from home.
For both teams, it is that stage of the tournament when any further slip-up could result in elimination.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats