IPL 2022 playoff scenarios explained

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More than 90 per cent of the league phase is done and dusted, yet only Gujarat Titans have confirmed their spot in the playoffs. They are sitting on 20 points and assured of a top-two finish, while the two most successful sides of the competition – MI and CSK – find themselves out of the reckoning.

Here’s what each team needs to do to progress to the playoffs:

Points Table as of May 18

Rajasthan Royals

  • Remaining fixtures: vs CSK Brabourne – May 20

Lucknow Super Giants

  • Remaining fixtures: vs KKR DY Patil – May 18

The win over LSG on Sunday (May 15) has taken RR to second place and assured them of a playoff spot, more or less. All they need to avoid is a heavy defeat in the last league fixture to avoid getting knocked out on NRR if results align that way. LSG, sitting at the top of the table a week ago, have been pushed to the third spot following their first back-to-back defeats in the season. Like RR, they too only need to avoid a big defeat to go through.

For either to get knocked out, they would need to lose their final match, RCB to beat GT and DC to get the better of MI. In that case, up to four teams can tie on 16 points and one of them can get knocked out on NRR. Having said that, RCB have a NRR of -0.323 and would need to beat GT by around 75 runs and would need LSG to lose by the same margin to get ahead on NRR. For RR, the same margin is around 80 runs.

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LSG and RR will have a chance to finish in the top two depending on the results of their final match. LSG play theirs on Wednesday and RR on Friday, giving the latter the advantage of knowing exactly what needs to be done to finish higher in the points table.

Delhi Capitals

  • Remaining fixtures: vs MI Wankhede – May 21

Royal Challengers Bangalore

  • Remaining fixtures: vs GT Wankhede – May 19

Impressive wins over RR and PBKS in their last two fixtures have given DC a kick up in a season that they had so many off-field troubles beyond their control. Their NRR of +0.255 is currently the best among sides that have not yet reached 16 points and all they need is a win against MI in their final game to go through. If both RR and LSG lose their respective final fixture and DC wins theirs, they will even have a shot at a top-two finish. They can even get through if they lose that game to MI provided GT thump RCB. In that case, up to four sides including RCB and DC could get tied on 14 points and NRR will come to picture.

RCB find themselves on a sticky wicket after the 54-run thumping defeat against PBKS on Friday (May 13). A win alone might not suffice given their NRR is only -0.323 which is the lowest among all teams in contention for a playoff spot and are most likely to get eliminated if DC defeat MI in their final league game. The most ideal scenario for RCB to qualify without any NRR equations is them beating GT and DC dropping their last league match against MI. In that case RCB gets to 16 points and everyone else stays on 14 points or below.

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From RCB to get their NRR just to the neutral territory of 0.000, they would need beat table-toppers GT in their last league fixture by around 80 runs or around 10 overs to spare. A loss could mean RCB will remain on 14 points and would get eliminated most likely given their NRR and possibility of two sides going past them.

Punjab Kings

  • Remaining fixtures: vs SRH Wankhede – May 22

Kolkata Knight Riders

  • Remaining fixtures: vs LSG DY Patil – May 18

Sunrisers Hyderabad

  • Remaining fixtures: vs PBKS Wankhede – May 22

Both KKR and SRH could have got to a maximum of 14 points and had their fate out of their own hands ahead of the start of the last week of league fixtures. PBKS have also joined them following the defeat to DC on Monday (May 16). Should either RCB beat GT or DC beat MI, all three of PBKS, KKR and SRH would get knocked out irrespective of their remaining results. The best-case scenario for these three sides is to win their remaining matches to get to 14 points, RCB lose to GT, DC lose to MI and stay on 14 points. In that case, up to four sides can finish with 14 points and NRR comes into the picture. SRH take on PBKS in the final league match of the season and only one of them can reach the 14-point mark. KKR is the only side with a positive NRR among the three and is best placed to qualify in case of a 14 point tie. For KKR to pip DC on NRR should a tie on 14 points happen, DC would need to lose their last match by 12 runs (provided they concede 180) and KKR would need to win theirs by the same margin.

DC play their final game on Saturday after RCB and KKR play theirs and will have the advantage of knowing the exact equation required to qualify.