IPL playoff scenarios: Hunt for the final spot – who will win the race?

NEW DELHI: Sunrisers Hyderabad clinched their place in the IPL 2024 playoffs after their match against Gujarat Titans was abandoned without a ball bowled due to persistent rain at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Thursday. The washout resulted in both teams sharing a point each, propelling Hyderabad to third place on the points table with 15 points.
Gujarat Titans, who had already been knocked out of the play-off race earlier in the week after their match against Kolkata Knight Riders was similarly abandoned due to rain, now find themselves out of contention entirely.
With this outcome, the defending champions Chennai Super Kings, currently sitting in fourth place, and Royal Challengers Bengaluru are now leading the hunt for the final play-off spot. Both teams are gearing up for a crucial encounter that could determine their playoff fate.
Use TOI’s interactive utility to see possible playoff scenarios
As the IPL season reaches its climax, the battle for the final play-off position is intensifying. With four league matches left, here’s all the possible IPL playoff scenarios:
* KKR are already assured of sole top spot
* If RR win their last game against KKR, they will be guaranteed sole second spot with 18 points. If they lose, they remain on 16 points, which means SRH can overtake them by winning against PBKS. They are sure to qualify, but need to win if they want the second spot
* With 15 points, SRH have their fate in their hands. Win the last game and finish sole second or sole third with 17 points depending on the result of the KKR-RR game. If they lose the last game, RR will be ahead and CSK can get ahead by beating RCB. They will then finish fourth
* CSK at 14 also have their fate in their hands. If they win against RCB, they finish on 16 points, and at worst fourth spot
* RCB need to win against CSK to have a chance. That would take them to 14 points, level with CSK and DC behind KKR, RR and SRH. LSG too could tie at 14, but the good news for RCB is that they have a much better NRR than DC or LSG. Effectively, therefore, RCB need to close the NRR gap with CSK to beat them to the fourth spot. That’s not a tall ask. In a 200-run chase, they would need to win within 18.1 overs. If they bat first and score 200, they would need to restrict CSK to 182 or less.
* DC are effectively out of it since KKR, RR and SRH are already ahead. If CSK win against RCB, they too will be ahead. If not, RCB will match DC’s 14 points with a superior NRR
* LSG are not totally out of it, theoretically. If they beat MI and RCB beat CSK, they can tie for fourth spot on 14 points. But their NRR is so much worse than CSK’s and RCB’s that this is only a theoretical possibility
* In short, KKR, RR and SRH are sure to qualify and one of CSK and RCB will join them in the last four (not necessarily the winner of the game between the two).

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