Rajasthan Royals kept its hopes alive in the tournament by defeating Punjab Kings by four wickets in a thriller at Dharamsala.
With this win, the Sanju Samson-led side moved to the fifth spot and stand just below Royal Challengers Bangalore at 14 points but with a lesser run rate.
Can Rajasthan Qualify for Playoffs?
Well, the Royal Army has an outside chance of qualifying for the knockout stage of the tournament but other results have to go its way.
They will now hope Mumbai Indians lose to Sunrisers Hyderabad and then Gujrat Titans secure a win over Royal Challengers Bangalore by a good margin. For Punjab Kings, the Shikhar Dhawan-led side’s campaign has come to an end.
Defending champion Gujarat Titans has managed to secure its spot in the Playoffs while seven teams remain in contention for three slots.
Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad, the laggards on the standings since the start of the season, were the first two teams to be eliminated.
The league stage ends on Sunday, with the playoffs beginning in Chennai on May 23. The final will be played in Ahmedabad on May 28.
Here is a look at the playoff scenarios for the teams in contention:
Chennai Super Kings (13 matches, 15 points) - NRR: +0.381
Four-time winner Chennai Super Kings had a chance to seal its Playoffs spot with a win in its penultimate league game but went down to Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets at home. Dhoni’s men are still poised to go through to the last four and require a win in their final match to seal qualification.
CSK can finish at 17 points with a win over Delhi Capitals. However, a top-two finish will depend on Mumbai Indians and Lucknow Super Giants. While MI can get to 18 points with two wins, LSG can also reach 17 points and perhaps pip CSK on Net Run Rate (NRR).
Chennai Super Kings remaining match schedule
- Match 67: Delhi Capitals v Chennai Super Kings, May 19 - Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi
Mumbai Indians (13 matches, 14 points) - NRR: --0.128
Five-time champion Mumbai Indians has made a resounding comeback this season after stuttering with its weakened bowling options in the initial phase. With four wins in its last five matches, MI has jumped to 14 points from 12 matches and has even gotten itself into a position where it can compete for a top-two finish. MI takes on LSG and a win could virtually seal its Playoffs spot.
If MI also manages to see off Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rohit Sharma’s men will secure a top-two berth.
With a defeat to LSG, MI now needs to win its final game with a big margin to finish with a decent NRR on 16 points. MI can also ensure qualification with the two points if CSK or LSG slip-up in their final matches.
Mumbai Indians remaining matches schedule
- Match 63: Lucknow Super Giants v Mumbai Indians, May 16 - Ekana Stadium, Lucknow - LOST
- Match 69: Mumbai Indians v Sunrisers Hyderabad, May 21 - Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Lucknow Super Giants (13 matches, 15 points) - NRR: +0.304
A sensational seven-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad has helped LSG put its campaign back on the rails. LSG stands on 13 points in 12 matches but faces two challenging matches against direct rivals MI and KKR.
If LSG emerges unscathed with four points, it could vye for a top-two spot alongside CSK with NRR deciding the second spot. LSG can still fall short on the Playoffs if it loses both games. Even one win may not suffice for LSG as Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab Kings can also finish at 16 points.
With a win over MI, LSG has jumped to the third spot and a simple win in its final match will seal its Playoffs berth.
Lucknow Super Giants remaining matches schedule
- Match 63: Lucknow Super Giants v Mumbai Indians, May 14 - Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow - WON
- Match 68: Kolkata Knight Riders v Lucknow Super Giants, May 20 - Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Royal Challengers Bangalore (13 matches, 14 points) - NRR: +0.180
Royal Challengers Bangalore improved its condition in the Playoffs with a staggering eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad before registering a 112-run win over Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur last week. The wins shored it up to 14 points while providing a massive NRR boost. RCB can now target a top-four finish but needs to win its remaining game against Gujarat Titans to stand a chance.
RCB is directly competing with four teams - MI, LSG, PBKS and CSK. If LSG and MI manage a win each in their remaining games, RCB’s chances will boil down to the NRR with the latter at 16 points. In such a scenario, Punjab remains the only other side that can get to 16 points and challenge RCB on NRR and scrape through to the Playoffs.
Royal Challengers Bangalore remaining matches schedule
- Match 65: Sunrisers Hyderabad v Royal Challengers Bangalore, May 18 - Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad - WON
- Match 70: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Gujarat Titans, May 21 - M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
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