Will RCB qualify for the playoffs?
The Royal Challengers Bangalore, who had a shaky start in this IPL season, have won only five matches so far and continue to struggle to make it to the top four in the points table. The playoffs are finally approaching, and two teams have already sealed their spots – Sunrisers Hyderabad with 18 points and Chennai Super Kings with 16 points. Also, Delhi Daredevils are no longer in the running for the tournament. This leaves five teams – namely, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore – to compete for the two remaining spots. And with most teams left with only two more matches to play, the tournament is as exciting as it gets.
With RCB’s two consecutive wins lately, they have resurrected their fans’ hopes. But despite the clinical win against Kings XI Punjab, the road to the top four does not look like an easy one for RCB.
In their next match, they will face Sunrisers Hyderabad who are currently leading the points table. Their final group stage match will be against Rajasthan Royals – a crucial match that may very well turn out to be a virtual quarterfinal.
With two remaining matches for RCB in this tournament, they will have to win both to stay in the running. In fact, their spot in the playoffs may depend on results from other teams too. Their large margin of win against KXIP has done wonders for their net run rate, which has gone from a dismal -0.261 to an appreciable +0.218.
An all round performance gave #RCB the “perfect” win over KXIP, improved our NRR and inspires greater confidence in the coming games! #PlayBold #KXIPvRCB report ➡ https://t.co/OLBIGRtdlA pic.twitter.com/khdTvG0pzF
— Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) May 15, 2018
Here are the scenarios that can work out in RCB’s favour.
Case 1 – RCB win both remaining matches
If RCB win both their matches, they may have to hope that at least one team out of KKR, KXIP and RR lose at least one of their remaining matches. This, combined with RCB’s good NRR will likely ensure their spot in the playoffs.
Case 2 – RCB lose one match out of the remaining two
However, in the scenario that RCB lose one of their remaining two matches, the only way for them to qualify for the playoffs will be if KKR win their next match and RR and KXIP lose their remaining matches – after which the team with the best NRR qualifies for the playoffs.
Of course, with the mathematical probability of RCB qualifying for playoffs decreasing even further in the second scenario, fans are sure going to hope that their team wins both matches and qualifies without hassles.
But this is where the group stage gets exciting – seven matches to go before the playoffs, and we will soon enough find out which teams will ultimately seal their spots.