Based on today’s matches, the Semi-finals have almost been decided. Slight amount of drama still remains in the draw, but that should be over and done with once tomorrow’s matches pan out.
The points table at the moment looks like this:
- CSK vs KXIP
- DD vs DC
So unlike last time, there are only 2 scenarios here, and they depend on CSK’s performance.
If CSK win:
Owing to their superior run rate, which will only improve after the match, CSK will be ahead of RCB(how they will be ruing their performance against MI). It is unlikely that KKR, even if they win against MI, will be able to pull their run-rate and make it better than RCB. So, almost certainly, CSK will take the 3rd position and RCB, 4th position(something that was unthinkable just a few days ago :D) with MI assured of 1st position. That brings us to the match between DD and DC. It will become a virtual knockout, with the winner taking the 2nd position and thus avoid playing red-hot MI in the semi-finals.
so the semi-finals line up will look something like this:
MI vs RCB (what most of my friends wanted since the semi-finals are at Bangalore, but after today’s bomb scare, there are talks of shifting the semi-final out of Bangalore, which though a tad unfair is in a way, inevitable)
CSK vs DD/DC
However if CSK lose:
They will be out of the competition(will fail to reach the semi-finals for the first time, something Dhoni will not really like). The winner of the match between DC and DD will take the no.2 position in the table. Meanwhile KKR will get a new lease of life. If they win against MI, they will be on equal points with loser of [DC vs DD] and NRR will decide who takes the 4th spot. RCB, owing to their superior NRR(which is unlikely to be toppled) will take the 3rd position with MI retaining their pole position. So now the semi-finals line up will look something like this:
for simplification, assuming DD will beat DC(my bias talking here.. :D)
MI vs DC/KKR
RCB vs DD
I have been working on this for 2 days now, and it was only after yesterday night’s results, that things became a little more clear. The table has a really complicated look to it, complicated enough for some people in my office to start a theory of “Match Fixing”. According to these highly-intellectual cricket loving mortals, all the matches have been fixed and the top 4 has already been decided. But all the twists and turns have been brought in, only to make it look really close and unsuspecting. I am totally against this ghastly theory, for I cannot believe senior players like Kumble, Dravid, Sachin etc throwing matches, not even in my dreams. However it is really peculiar that the table sits the way it does at the moment with all teams having some mathematical chance of making it through to the semi-finals. Let us now take a look at how teams can qualify for the semi-finals.
Mumbai Indians are already through and they have done it in style by sealing their no.1 position with 2 matches still left in their itinerary. Let us start with the team lying at the bottom, Kings XI Punjab(KXIP). It is hard to believe that a team that has lost 8 out of the 12 matches played so far, still has a mathematical chance of qualifying for the knock-out round. But that is how things are at the moment.
Blue – Win/Loss Red – Loss Green – Win (1 and 2 indicate the order in which teams play each other e.g, KXIP will play DC first and then CSK)
- For KXIP to go through, the first thing that they will need to do is win both their matches, albeit against strong oppositions of Chennai Super Kings(CSK) and Deccan Chargers(DC), and take their tally to 12.
- The other important event would be Kolkata Knight Riders(KKR) defeating Rajasthan Royals(RR), which is totally possible considering the fact that KKR would be playing at home and RR would have been totally demoralised after the crushing defeat at the hands of Royal Challengers Bangalore(RCB).
- Then Delhi Daredevils(DD) will need to beat both CSK and DC.
If these 3 things happen, it will be a shoot-out between 5 teams for the 4th spot and that too will only be decided on NRR-net run rate. However, the probability of all the 3 things happening is very low and so are KXIP’s chances of proceeding to the semi-finals.
Now let us talk about Kolkata Knight Riders:
Things are not as bad as SRK might think. But it is crunch time for KKR and they really need to execute their plans to perfection. Go home to Eden, and win your remaining 2 matches, taking your tally to 14. The match between KKR and RR is a virtual quarter-final. Whoever loses that, is definitely out, unless there is the KXIP scenario which we talked about earlier. So if KKR have to qualify:
- They need to beat RR and then MI
- DD don’t lose both their matches(against CSK and DC)
- RCB loses its final match against MI.
If condition 1 is true, and any one condition out of 2 or 3 is true, KKR will be definitely in the race for a spot in the semi-finals. But that race will only be determined by.. that dreaded term for IPL franchisees, “NRR”.
Here are some of the scenarios:
Moving onto Rajasthan Royals:
RR have been a blow-hot blow-cold kind of a team, which has been typical of the team ever since their victory in IPL’08. For them to qualify, they will again have to rely on NRR. Their conditions are exactly the same with what KKR have.
- Defeat KKR in their last league match.
- Hope DD don’t lose both their league matches.
- RCB lose their last league match.
Condition 1 is absolutely mandatory, together with a combination of either of the condition no.2/3 will provide RR with a chance to contest for a spot in the semi-finals.
Here is one of the scenarios:
These were the more trickier of the P&Cs. For Rest of the teams, the equation is simpler. Win your remaining games and you shall have your fate in your own hands. RCB, DD, DC and CSK all have to do this to ensure a sure-shot place in the semi-finals without having to rely on the tricky NRR situation.
Now RCB have their last league match against MI(Home)
DD have 2 games against CSK(away) and DC(Home).
CSK have 2 games against DD(Home) and KXIP(Away)
DC have 2 games against KXIP(adopted home) and DD(Away)
All these matches will be very competitive and high-pressure games. It is really difficult to point out who will come up trumps in these games, given the nature of the tournament so far.
Everything said and done, my final Top 4 would look like:
- DD(probably on NRR)
This is totally my opinion and the analysis done above might have its flaws, but given the clamor and confusion regarding who all can qualify, I have tried to make it a little simpler for people when they discuss this heated topic in their respective offices 😀