IPL playoff scenarios – RCB, CSK, RR, SRH, LSG, DC, GT in the running for three spots

With just eight more games to go in the league stage of IPL 2024, only Kolkata Knight Riders have qualified for the playoffs and three spots are still available. Here’s how the teams in contention stack up.

Royal Challengers Bengaluru

Played: 13, points: 12, NRR: 0.387
Remaining match: CSK (h)

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RCB’s fifth win in a row – against DC – has propelled them to fifth place on the points table, a position which seemed almost impossible three weeks ago when they lost by a run to KKR, their sixth defeat in a row at the time. They are now on 12 points, with a chance to get to 14 when they play CSK next Saturday. That might give them a chance to make the playoffs, but only if other results go their way, for SRH and LSG can both make it to 16 and knock RCB out.

However, if other results do go in such a way that the RCB-CSK game is a knockout, then RCB need to win by 18 runs (if they score 200) to take their net run rate past that of CSK. LSG would have played both their remaining matches by then, while SRH would have a game left, which means both RCB and CSK would have a reasonable amount of clarity in terms of where they stand.

Chennai Super Kings

Played: 13, points: 14, NRR: 0.528
Remaining match: RCB (a)

CSK’s win against RR takes them closer to a playoffs spot, but by no means are they certain of qualifying. If they lose to RCB and stay on 14, then four teams can still finish ahead of them on points: KKR, RR, SRH and LSG.

Given their excellent net run rate, CSK will finish among the top four if they beat RCB in their last game. If they lose to RCB, they have to hope at least one of SRH or LSG stay below 16 points. Apart from that, their margin of defeat will have to be a narrow one, as mentioned above, to ensure they stay above RCB on run rate. If both SRH and LSG stay on 14 or fewer points, then it is possible for both CSK and RCB to qualify on 14.

Delhi Capitals

Played: 13, points: 12, NRR: -0.482
Remaining match: LSG (h)

The 47-run defeat to RCB has pushed DC’s net run rate down to -0.482, which is way below that of CSK, SRH and RCB. With 14 points the best they can get to, it’s extremely unlikely that they will finish among the top four. Their best chance is if SRH suffer huge defeats in their last two games, CSK beat RCB, and LSG win no more than one game and stay below DC on run rate. Then, DC can sneak ahead of SRH on run rate, but the margins for that are highly improbable: if SRH lose their last two games by a combined margin of 150 runs (with the teams batting first scoring 200), then DC will still have to beat LSG by 64 runs to go ahead of SRH. It’s therefor safe to say that DC’s campaign in IPL 2024 is almost over.

Rajasthan Royals

Played: 12, points: 16, NRR: 0.349
Remaining matches: PBKS (h), KKR (h)

Three defeats in a row means RR haven’t yet sealed their playoff spot. Four other teams can still get to 16 or more, but one of those teams is LSG, whose NRR is -0.769. It’s highly unlikely they will challenge RR’s run rate even with two wins (and two losses for RR), but Royals will need a win or two to seal a top-two finish.

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Played: 12, points: 14, NRR: 0.406
Remaining matches: GT (h), PBKS (h)

SRH’s run rate of 0.406 is much better than that of LSG, and one win in their two remaining games should ensure qualification. Two wins could even make them a contender for a top-two finish. However, if they lose both matches, then they could be in trouble as CSK and RCB could both finish ahead of them on NRR.

Lucknow Super Giants

Played: 12, points: 12, NRR: -0.769
Remaining matches: DC (a), MI (a)

LSG’s poor net run rate means they need 16 points to be in contention. Even then they could fall short if CSK and SRH also finish on 16, as their NRRs are much superior. Even if Royals lose two, it’s highly unlikely that LSG can catch up with them on run rate.

Gujarat Titans

Played: 12, points: 10, NRR: -1.063
Remaining matches: KKR (h), SRH (a)

Titans can get to 14 points but given their terrible run rate of -1.063 it’s almost impossible for them to be challenging for one of the playoff positions.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats

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