RCB, IPL 2018, MI, KXIP, KKR, RR
RCB defeated SRH by 14 runs in their last encounter © IANS

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) kept their hopes of qualifying for the Playoffs of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 despite a terrific fight from Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore. Of course, the result did not matter to SRH, who have not only qualified for the Playoffs, but will also play Qualifier 1. Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have also qualified for the Playoffs, while Delhi Daredevils (DD) have been eliminated. Before we have a look at what each side needs to do to qualify for the Playoffs, let us have a look at the points table.

IPL 2018 points table (after RCB vs SRH on May 17)
  M W L P NRR
Sunrisers Hyderabad

13

9

4

18

0.319

Chennai Super Kings

12

8

4

16

0.383

Kolkata Knight Riders

13

7

6

14

-0.091

Mumbai Indians

13

6

7

12

0.384

Royal Challengers Bangalore

13

6

7

12

0.264

Rajasthan Royals

13

6

7

12

-0.403

Kings XI Punjab

13

6

7

12

-0.490

Delhi Daredevils

12

3

9

6

-0.478

As is evident, five teams — Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians (MI), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Rajasthan Royals (RR), and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) — are still fighting for three spots. Let us now check the remaining matches:

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

The match between CSK and DD will serve no purpose for the five teams, but it is crucial for CSK. If CSK beat DD, they will definitely make it to the Qualifier 1 to play SRH.

Kolkata Knight Riders

KKR will qualify if they beat SRH. In fact, if KKR beat SRH and CSK lose both matches, KKR stand with a chance to make it to Qualifier 1 to play SRH. CSK and KKR are the only teams in the hunt for Qualifier 1.

What if KKR lose to SRH? Four teams (RCB, RR, MI, and KXIP) are on 12, all of whom can draw level with KKR on points. In that case the top two teams (of all teams on 14) on net run rate go through.

Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians, Kings XI Punjab

All four teams are on 12, which makes the equation simple. If KKR beat SRH, then three teams — KXIP, MI, and the winner of RR versus RCB — will compete for one spot on net run rate. If KKR lose to SRH, then four teams (KKR will be the fourth) will compete for two spots. At this point the sequence of net run rate reads MI, RCB, KKR, RR, KXIP — but that may change with the last match. Also, if KKR win, their net run rate will become redundant.