IPL 2019 playoff qualification scenarios: SRH, RR, KKR, KXIP battle for 4th spot

What are the scenarios for the four teams chasing a playoff spot ahead of the final weekend of the league phase?

Shubman Gill's unbeaten half-century against Kings XI Punjab led Kolkata Knight Riders to a seven-wicket win and strengthened its position in the race of the fourth and final playoff spot.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals, and Sunrisers Hyderabad are in a four-way battle to secure fourth spot and qualify for the IPL 2019 playoffs ahead of the final weekend of the league phase.

Each of these teams has a match in hand, with Rajasthan Royals (against Delhi Capitals) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (against Royal Challengers Bangalore) in action on Saturday. Kings XI Punjab (against Chennai Super Kings) and Kolkata Knight Riders (against Mumbai Indians) play their final fixtures on Sunday.

Here are the qualification scenarios for the four teams.

Sunrisers Hyderabad

The Hyderabad-based franchise is best-placed to qualify as the fourth team for the playoffs. It has 12 points from 13 matches so far, while its net run rate is the best in the competition (0.65). The net run rate gives Sunrisers a distinct advantage over the other teams and a win against RCB, which will take it to 14 points, on Saturday will almost guarantee it a playoff spot.

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Kolkata Knight Riders

A six-match losing streak midway through the season appeared to wreck KKR's chances of reaching the playoffs. But back-to-back wins against Mumbai and Kings XI Punjab on Friday have put Knight Riders, which now has 12 points from 13 matches, firmly in contention for a playoff spot. Its final fixture against Mumbai is the last of the league phase and it must beat Rohit Sharma and co. at the Wankhede Stadium to secure qualification. Its playoff chances will also depend on the result in Saturday's fixture between Sunrisers and Royal Challengers. If Sunrisers loses by a sizeable margin and its current net run rate (0.65) takes a hit, Knight Riders might sneak through even with 12 points, but its own run rate (0.17) is inferior to the Hyderabad franchise and a defeat to Mumbai will make qualification difficult.

Rajasthan Royals

The one-time IPL champion can achieve a maximum of 13 points after rain played spoilsport in its penultimate fixture against RCB and the points were shared. It means, Royals, even if it beats Delhi Capitals in Saturday's 4pm fixture at Feroz Shah Kotla, isn't in control of its destiny. It must win against Shreyas Iyer and co. and then hope that Sunrisers and KKR lose their final fixtures against RCB and Mumbai.

Kings XI Punjab

Kings XI's chances of qualification are slim. It has 10 points with only one match left to play and it has a negative net run rate of -0.35 ahead of its final league fixture against Super Kings. Wins for Royals and Sunrisers will knock it out of the playoff picture, while a win for KKR on Sunday will — regardless of its own result against CSK — also make qualification impossible because it can only reach a maximum of 12 points.