Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings are battling it out for a top-two spot in the points table. However, for the remaining two spots, there are five teams still in the fray. Mumbai Indians are in a good position to seal a spot in the playoffs while for the fourth spot, teams like Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad are involved in a major tussle. A loss for either of the teams could result in major complications in their quest for the playoffs. With just four days to go for the end of the league stages, the qualifying for the playoffs has once again gone down to the wire. Here is what the remaining teams need to do in order to seal their spot in the playoffs.
Chennai Super Kings
Position: 1 (Qualified)
P – 13, W – 9, L – 4, Points - 18
Remaining games: vs Kings XI Punjab (May 5)
What they must do: MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings have virtually assured themselves of a top-two finish after beating Delhi Capitals. They must hope that Mumbai Indians lose one more game to seal a spot in the top two.
Position: 2 (Qualified)
P -13, W – 8, L – 5, Points – 16
Remaining games: vs Rajasthan Royals (May 4)
What they must do: Delhi Capitals have sealed their spot in the playoffs and a win against Rajasthan Royals will seal their top-two spot. However, a loss against Rajasthan Royals could see them slip to third in the event of Mumbai Indians winning one of their two games.
P – 12, W- 7, L-5, Points: 14
Remaining games: vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (May 2), vs Kolkata Knight Riders (May 5)
What they must do: Mumbai Indians can seal their spot in the playoffs with a win over Sunrisers Hyderabad. However, if they lose both their games, then Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad might be in a pole position to knock them out.
P -12, W – 6, L – 6, Points: 12
Remaining games: vs Mumbai Indians (May 2), vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (May 4)
What they must do: A loss against Mumbai Indians will make their game against Royal Challengers Bangalore a must-win. If they win against Mumbai Indians but lose to Royal Challengers Bangalore, they must hope Rajasthan Royals lose to Delhi Capitals and that Kings XI Punjab loses to Chennai Super Kings. If Kings XI Punjab wins against Kolkata Knight Riders, it must be by a small margin.
P – 13, W – 5, L – 7, Points: 11
Remaining games: vs Delhi Capitals (May 4)
What they must do: Rajasthan Royals have to win against Delhi Capitals. If they win, they will have to hope Sunrisers Hyderabad lose both their games and that Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab win only one game. They will have to hope Mumbai Indians beat both Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders while Kings XI Punjab beat Kolkata Knight Riders but lose to Chennai Super Kings.
Kolkata Knight Riders
P – 12, W – 5, L – 7, Points: 10
Remaining games: vs Kings XI Punjab (May 3), vs Mumbai Indians (May 5)
What they must do: They have to win both their games. If they win only one game, they will have to hope Delhi Capitals beat Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad loses both their games to Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab lose to Chennai Super Kings.
Kings XI Punjab
P – 12, W – 5, L – 7, Points: 10
Remaining games: vs Kolkata Knight Riders (May 3), vs Chennai Super Kings (May 5)
What they must do: They have to win both their games. Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders are in the same boat. If Kings XI Punjab wins both their games, they will knock Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals out. If they win one of their games, they will have to hope Sunrisers Hyderabad lose both their games as even one win will be enough for the Hyderabad franchise due to their high net run-rate.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
P – 13, W – 4, L – 8, Points: 9
Remaining games: vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (May 4)
What they must do: Royal Challengers Bangalore can spoil Sunrisers Hyderabad's party by beating them in their last league game. They are the only team to be eliminated from the playoff race.