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Scenarios - How the Mumbai-Sunrisers result will affect the IPL playoff race

Rajasthan Royals will be rooting for Mumbai Indians on Thursday night. Here's why

S Rajesh
S Rajesh
Krunal Pandya checks if he's made his ground, Sunrisers Hyderabad v Mumbai Indians, IPL 2019, Hyderabad, April 6, 2019


Ahead of the Mumbai Indians-Sunrisers Hyderabad game, here is a look at how the result of that match will impact the two teams and others as well.
Mumbai Indians are on 14 points with two to play, and their net run rate (NRR) of 0.347 is the best among the top-three teams. A win on Thursday will take them to second spot, level on points with Delhi Capitals but with a superior NRR. Obviously, their chances of finishing in the top two will then depend on how things pan out in the last round of matches for all teams.
If Mumbai Indians lose on Thursday, they will have to win their last match, against Knight Riders, and then depend on other results going their way to finish in the top two. For a start, Capitals will have to lose their last game against Rajasthan Royals so that they stay on 16. Then, Sunrisers will have to lose to Royal Challengers Bangalore so that they don't finish on 16 as well, since Sunrisers have a much better NRR than Mumbai Indians.
If Mumbai Indians lose both games, then their qualification chances could be in jeopardy all together if Kolkata Knight Riders win both their matches. Currently, Knight Riders' NRR is 0.1, but if they win both their matches and Mumbai Indians lose theirs, then Knight Riders' could move ahead on NRR.
A win for Sunrisers will pretty much seal their qualification spot. That's because they will move up to 14 points, and even if they lose their last game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, their superior NRR should see them through to the top four. They will also have a chance to finish second, if they beat Royal Challengers and if Capitals lose their last game against Royals.
If Sunrisers lose, they will still have a chance to seal a qualification spot with a win against Royal Challengers. Even if Knight Riders win their last two matches by handy margins (say, 50 runs each), Sunrisers' will still have a superior NRR if they lose to Mumbai Indians by 40 runs and beat Royal Challengers by 5 runs.
For the other teams in the hunt for a playoff spot, a Mumbai Indians win will mean that they will still have a chance to qualify without NRR coming into play, as Sunrisers will stay on 12 if they lose their last game as well. Both Knight Riders and Kings XI will still have a chance to grab the last playoff berth if they win their last two. Royals will be in the hunt too, if Sunrisers lose their last two, and Knight Riders and Kings XI win no more than one of their last two matches.
If Sunrisers beat Mumbai Indians, Royals will be knocked out of the tournament.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats