Four teams, three spots: Here are the scenarios for IPL 2020 playoffs
There are just two league matches left to be played in the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) season and the makeup of the playoff spots is yet to be determined, with only Mumbai Indians (MI) having confirmed their place. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Delhi Capitals (DC), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) are all vying for three available spots in the playoffs.
The two remaining league games are RCB vs DC and SRH vs MI, and the results of these matches will determine the IPL playoff spots.
Who is through?
Only Mumbai Indians are guaranteed to finish in the playoff spots currently. MI are on 18 points and will finish top of the points table regardless of what happens in the next two games.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
RCB is well placed going into its final league game of the season against DC despite losing their last three games. RCB can secure a top-2 spot with a win over DC on Monday night.
RCB can also go through to the playoffs if the team narrowly loses to DC. If DC score 160 and win by 21 runs or fewer, or chase down 161 in 17.3 or more overs, RCB will make the playoffs ahead of KKR on net run-rate. This situation can change according to the game.
DC is also suitably placed ahead of the final league game against RCB. A win will secure a top-2 spot while a narrow loss will also see the team through to the playoffs.
A narrow loss would mean Royal Challengers score 160 and win by 18 runs or fewer, or chase down 161 in 18 or more overs. This equation will change according to the game.
A win over MI will take SRH to the playoff spot since it has a superior net run-rate of +0.555. A loss will keep SRH out of the playoffs. SRH will finish third in the league standings if they win.
Kolkata Knight Riders
KKR have finished their quota of 14 games and are on 14 points with a net run-rate of -0.214. This is currently the worst net run-rate of the four playoff hopefuls, but a big loss for either RCB or DC in their final league game will take KKR through to the playoffs. KKR can finish third in the table if SRH loses its game against MI.
Teams out of the reckoning
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) endured a dreadful IPL campaign but three wins in the last three games meant that CSK finished 7th in the table ahead of Rajasthan Royals. RR crashed out of the tournament after a disappointing loss to KKR on Sunday.
Alongside CSK and RR, Kings XI Punjab was unable to make it to the playoffs despite a 6-game winning streak. The side led by KL Rahul was beaten by Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.
How the playoffs will be held
The top two will face each other and the winner goes directly to the final. The loser will then play the winner of 3rd vs 4th for a place in the final. This system was introduced to reward teams for finishing higher in the league phase.