Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 has come to its last week before the playoffs. MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have become the first team to qualify for the IPL 2019 playoffs with the other seven teams fighting for the remaining three spots. Sitting pretty at the top of the IPL Points Table, CSK have 16 points with eight wins in 12 matches. CSK have two matches left in the league stage and they won't finish below the top four even if they lose both those matches. Here are the permutations and combinations of how the rest of the chasers can book their berth in the playoffs.
Under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma, Mumbai Indians have won seven matches and lost four in 11 matches of the IPL 2019 so far. They have 14 points and will leapfrog table-toppers CSK with a win in their next match, thanks to a positive net run rate of +0.537.
While a win will assure Mumbai's place in playoffs, two or three wins at the fag end of the tournament will put them in contention for a top-two finish. The top two teams will get two chances to make it to the final as the losing team of qualifier 1 will take on the winner of the eliminator in qualifier 2.
Formerly known as Delhi Daredevils, Delhi Capitals have managed to change their fortunes with a new name, a set of players and impressive coaching staff. Shreyas Iyer-led Delhi have the same number of points as Mumbai Indian, having played equal number of matches. However, a net run rate of +0.181 has kept them in third position.
Just like Mumbai, Delhi also require a single win in three matches to book a place in the IPL 2019 playoffs. However they will also aim for a top-two finish with more than a single victory.
SunRisers Hyderabad started their campaign with a run riot led by the opening pair of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow. However, they have fallen off the boil and suffered six losses and five wins in 11 matches.
In the remaining three matches, if SRH win one and lose two matches, their chances of finishing fourth will depend on Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals losing all their matches. Two wins will put SRH in a stronger position, though both KXIP and Rajasthan will still have a chance to trump them with as many wins and a better net run-rate.
Undoubtedly, if SRH manage to win all three of their remaining league stage matches, their playoffs berth will be confirmed and they might be in contention for a top-two finish.
Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals
Just like SRH, KXIP and RR have 10 points and stand a chance to book a playoffs berth with a single victory. However, Rajasthan have already played 12 matches and have just two chances left to seal a spot. Among three, currently SRH have the best net run rate of +0.559, whereas KXIP and Rajasthan have a net run-rate of -0.117 and -0.321 respectively.
Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore
At the bottom of the points table, Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore chances are slim with eight points each in 11 matches. Both KKR and RCB need to win all their remaining three league stage matches to have any hope of reaching the playoffs.
However, along with three wins, KKR and RCB require SRH, KXIP and RR to lose all their matches. Even after that, KKR and RCB will need a better net run-rate to leapfrog Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals.
KKR's current net run rate is -0.050, while Virat Kohli-led RCB have a net run rate of -0.683.