With only eight matches remaining now before the IPL play-offs, the race to make it to the last four hasn’t narrowed any further, since Chennai Super Kings lost their chance on Oct 25, after Rajasthan Royals beat Mumbai Indians. There are still 256 possible outcomes for the final line up and Net run rate (NRR) is certain to play a key role in deciding the fate of a few teams.
Shankar Raghuraman of TOI does the number-crunching to arrive at the chances of all seven teams as of today (October 29 2020).
1. Mumbai Indians are now sure of finishing, at worst, tied for second spot with 16 points
2. There is a 50% chance of Mumbai finishing a clear first and an over 80% chance of them at least sharing the top spot on points (208 out of 256 possible outcomes)
3. Royal Challengers Bangalore, like Delhi Capitals, can still fail to make it to the playoffs, but the chances of their not getting at least joint fourth spot on points are negligible (4 out of 256 possible outcomes)
4. RCB and Delhi can, at worst, end in 5th spot, or tied for the fifth spot on points
5. Delhi still have a one in eight chance of finishing clear No.1 and a one in three chance of at least sharing the top slot on points
6. Bangalore have only a one in 16 chance of finishing clear no.1, but a one in three chance of at least tying for the top slot
7. Kolkata Knight Riders have only a one in 16 chance of making it to the playoffs without net run rates coming into play, but their chances of tying for 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th place on points is more than two out of three
8. Sunrisers Hyderabad have no chance of making it to the playoffs, without net run rates coming into the equation, but a better than one in five chance of tying for 3rd or 4th spot
9. The chances of Kings XI making it to the playoffs without NRR coming into the picture are less than one in 16, but their chances of tying for one of the top four slots are better than two-thirds
10. Rajasthan Royals have a less than 3% chance of qualifying without NRR coming into play, but about one in four chance of at least tying for third or fourth slot
11. The chances of the first four slots being decided without NRR entering the picture is almost non-existent. The only combination of match results with which that is possible is MI, RCB and KKR winning both their remaining matches and Chennai and Rajasthan both beating Kings XI. If that happens, Mumbai finish on top, RCB second, Kolkata third and Delhi fourth
The IPL 2020 season has been a very competitive one. Kings XI Punjab’s five wins on the trot have made things even more intriguing. Though the three break away teams this season have been Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore, the other four teams (KXIP, KKR, SRH and RR) are still technically in the running for play-off berths. Those who have matches left against the ‘Big 3’ this season will be hoping they can pull off wins. Mumbai and Bangalore both lost over the last weekend and Delhi were thrashed by Hyderabad on Tuesday, before in the clash of two heavyweights, Mumbai beat Bangalore on Wednesday. With seven teams in the running for the four play-offs berths and three teams (Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore) more than likely to seal a spot, the fight for the remaining fourth place (for which KXIP and KKR are the prime contenders as of now) could make the remaining eight league matches of IPL 2020 very interesting. Expect the teams to throw everything, including the kitchen sink to try and grab a play-off berth in the matches coming up.