Virat Kohli, Royal Challengers Bangalore,
Virat Kohli’s RCB still have an outside chance to qualify for IPL 2018 Playoffs

Rajasthan Royals’ win against Mumbai Indians (MI) on Sunday ensured Chennai Super Kings (CSK) became the second team to qualify for Playoffs of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018, after Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Delhi Daredevils (DD), not for the first time, have already been eliminated. That leaves us with five competitors for two slots in the Playoffs — MI, RR, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Before we find out what every team needs to do, let us have a look at the points table.

IPL 2018 points table (after MI vs RR on May 13)
  M W L P
Sunrisers Hyderabad

12

9

3

18

Chennai Super Kings

12

8

4

16

Kings XI Punjab

11

6

5

12

Kolkata Knight Riders

12

6

6

12

Rajasthan Royals

12

6

6

12

Mumbai Indians

12

5

7

10

Royal Challengers Bangalore

11

4

7

8

Delhi Daredevils

12

3

9

6

As mentioned above (and is evident), SRH and CSK are already through, while DD are no longer in the hunt. Here is what the other teams need to do to qualify for the Playoffs. Let us also check the remaining matches:

Match
KXIP vs RCB
KKR vs RR
MI vs KXIP
RCB vs SRH
DD vs CSK
RR vs RCB
SRH vs KKR
DD vs MI
CSK vs KXIP

Kings XI Punjab

KXIP need to win 2 of their remaining 3 matches to be certain of a place in the Playoffs. That way they will reach 16. MI or RCB will never reach 16. KKR and RR are both on 12, but since they play each other, at most one of them can reach 16.

However, even 1 win may suffice for them, but in that case they will have to depend on other teams. That will take them to 14. If KXIP lost to MI there is even a chance of three other teams reaching 14. In that case net run rate will come into play.

However, KXIP may qualify even if they lose all 3 matches, against RCB, RR, and CSK. However, in that case RR need to beat both KKR and RCB; both RCB and KKR need to beat SRH; and DD need to beat MI. If all this happen, RR will reach 16 points, while KXIP will be tied on 12 with KKR, MI, and RCB. Then net run rate will come into play.

Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals

Two wins will guarantee KKR or RR a Playoffs spot. In fact, KKR vs RR may decide the fortunes of both sides.

However, if KKR and RR win one match each (any of the two) and lose the other they will have to depend on others. In fact, if, say, KXIP beat RCB, and CSK and MI beat KXIP and DD respectively, all four teams (KXIP, KKR, MI, and RR) will remain in the hunt.

Mumbai Indians

Two wins may (or may not) do it for Mumbai. If SRH and CSK win their remaining matches and KXIP lose at least 2, MI will reach 14, at par with KXIP. Since KKR and RR play each other one of them will reach 14 as well, so it will be a three-way thing.

MI also stand a chance if they beat KXIP but lose against DD. However, that will be possible only if the side losing the KKR vs RR match doesn’t win their other match. MI will be eliminated if they lose both matches.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Three wins will take RCB to 14. Now, if RCB, SRH, and DD win everything that come their way, that will leave two — KKR vs RR and MI vs KXIP. Whoever wins the first match will make it to 14. If that happens, and if MI beat KXIP, RCB will qualify without having to bother about net run rate.

RCB will be eliminated if they lose to KXIP. However, if RCB beat KXIP and RR they may qualify — provided SRH, CSK, and DD win their remaining matches and MI beat KXIP. Whoever wins RR vs KKR will then reach 14, while RCB will be tied on 12 with the other side as well as KXIP and MI. Then net run rates will come into play.

What happens if RCB beat KXIP and SRH but lose to RR? Even then they have a chance, but only if MI beat KXIP and RR beat KKR (and, of course, if DD, SRH, and CSK win everything else). That will push RR to 16, leaving KXIP, KKR, MI, and RCB tied on 12. We know the rest.