A depression over the Bay of Bengal may be a meteorological condition but it can have a deep impact on cricket - and on Kolkata Knight Riders in particular. After a whirlwind performance to book a berth in the Indian Premier League qualifiers, there is now a possibility that incessant rain may wash away their dreams of a direct entry into the final.
Kolkata were scheduled to play table-toppers Kings XI Punjab in the first IPL qualifier at Eden Gardens on Tuesday. Relentless rains though forced the match to be postponed to the reserve day - Wednesday at 1600 hrs IST. According to the Indian Meteorological Department though, dark clouds are likely to remain over Kolkata - a dismal sign for fans of the 2012 champions. If Wednesday's play is washed out as well, Kings XI Punjab will enter the final owing to a better run-rate, as per rule 21.10 (b) of the IPL Playing Conditions. However, if there is scope, a Super Over would decide the victors and the 'said match' can be played as late as 2032 hrs IST. (Qualifier Postponed)
Wet ground conditions, like on Tuesday, however would mean that even a Super Over would not be possible if rain continues to pour. In that scenario, net run-rate will give Punjab the edge. Having won 11 of their 14 matches, Punjab have a net run rate of +0.968 while Kolkata have a net run rate of +0.418 after their nine wins. (Highlights)
In such a case, Kolkata will be compelled to battle the winners of the eliminator match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians - to be played at Brabourne later on Wednesday. The winner of the second qualifier will then earn the right to feature in the title clash which is scheduled to be played on June 1 at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.