Each team has only one game left to play in the league phase, this is what the chances of qualifying for the seven teams that are still fighting for places in the playoffs, but have not yet closed any, look like this.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Mat 13, Pts 12, NRR -0,230
Remaining match: vs PBKS
The Hyderabad Sunrisers eventually interrupted their series of five defeats in a row, but the lead over victory against the Mumbai Indians was only three. This means that their chances of qualifying are still extremely small due to their low net speed of -0.230.
Even if they win their last match and if the Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore lose theirs, the margins of two of these results will have to be huge to give the Sunrisers a chance. For example, if the Capitals lose 50 runs in their last match against the Mumbai Indians and chase 200, the Sunrisers will have to win 73 (if they score 200) against the Punjab Kings to beat the NRR Capitals.
They will also have to hope that the Kolkata Knight Riders lose their last match against the Lucknow Super Giants and stay at 12 points; otherwise the Sunrisers will have to cross the NRR Knight Riders as well.
Delhi Capitals: Mat 13, Pts 14, NRR 0.255
Remaining match: ME
The comfortable Monday victory of the Delhi Capitals in 17 shots against the Punjab Kings was good news for them, but not so encouraging for all the other teams trying to break into the playoffs. Their net run, which was already a healthy 0.210, rose to 0.255, but the runs that the Punjab Kings scored at the end ensured that the other teams still had a chance to catch up if there was an NRR scramble for last place. .
From the Capitals’ point of view, the equation is simple: win the last match against the Mumbai Indians on Saturday and they are guaranteed to qualify. Even if they lose and stay at 14, they will have a decent chance to qualify if the Royal Challengers Bangalore lose to the Gujarat Titans. However, if the NRR occurs, they are not yet safe.
If the Capitals lose their last game by 30 runs (catching 171), their NRR will drop to 0.123. Currently, the Kolkata Knight Riders are at 0.160, so winning any difference in their last game will keep them above 0.123. If the Capitals lose 15, their NRR will be 0.179. The capitals could still be on a sticky goal if they lost to the Mumbai Indians. However, they are playing their last game after the Knight Riders, so they will know the equation before they get to Saturday’s game.
Panjab Kings: Mat 13, Pts 12, NRR -0.043
Remaining match: SRH
Kings’ qualifying chances were defeated by losing to the Capitals. Their NRR has slipped into negative territory and even a 40 win against the Sunrisers in their last game (after scoring 170) will only improve it to 0.112. In the last few games, however, large winning margins have been common – in seven of the last 13, the winning margin was more than 50 runs, while another win came with 31 balls – which should give Kings some hope.
They also play the last game of the league phase, which means that they will know if they have a chance at all and exactly what they have to do. Obviously, if the Capitals or Royal Challengers win their last match and move to 16 points, the Kings will be eliminated.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Mat 13, Pts 14, NRR -0,323
Remaining match: vs GT
The Royal Challengers will need the Capitals to lose their last match to have a chance to qualify. Although the Royal Challengers score 200 and win their last match by 100 runs, their NRR only improves to 0.071. The capitals will be much ahead if they win by any difference.
And if both teams lose and stay at 14, the Capitals will have to lose by an absurdly big difference to bring their NRR below the Royal Challengers. For example, if the Royals Challengers lose one run, the Capitals will have to lose about 150 (depending on the exact score).
In other words, the Royal Challengers will have to win their last match against the Table Titans and hope the Capitals lose theirs against the Lower Indians of Mumbai.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Mat 13, Pts 12, NRR 0.160
Remaining match: vs LSG
The Knight Riders still have a chance to qualify if they win their last match and if the Capitals and Royal Challengers lose theirs. As mentioned earlier, their relatively healthy NRR means they are in the best position to earn if the two teams slip.
Lucknow Super Giants: Mat 13, Pts 16, NRR 0.262
Remaining match: vs KKR
The Lucknow Super Giants are already at 16, a result that only four other teams can achieve. Among them are the Royal Challengers with NRR -0.323. In order for the Super Giants to lose in the playoffs, they will have to suffer a big defeat against the Knight Riders, while the Royal Challengers will win a huge win against the Titans.
If the Super Giants lose 60 runs (chasing 201), the Royal Challengers will win 89 (scoring 200) to get ahead of the NRR. This means that the Super Giants should consider their qualifying chances quite safely. They will aim higher and will want to finish between the two best. It will depend entirely on the results of the last games of the Super Giants and Rajasthan Royals, who are also at 16 points, but with a slightly better NRR.
Rajasthan Royals: Mat 13, Pts 16, NRR 0.304
Remaining match: CSK
Like the Super Giants, the Royals are quite safe when it comes to securing seats in the last four. To lose, they will have to lose 80 rounds, while the Royal Challengers will have to win their last match with the same difference (or the sum of the ranges of these results will have to be about 160, depending on the actual score).
If both the Royals and the Super Giants win their last match, the NRR decides who will finish second and play the first qualifier. If the Super Giants score 180 and defeat the Knight Riders by 20 runs, the Royals will need 10 runs with the same total to stay ahead of the NRR.
S Rajesh is the statistics editor for ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats