With only eight league games left in the season, ESPNcricinfo looks at how playoff qualification scenarios will be affected by the result of Tuesday’s game between Kolkata Knight Riders (12 points, -0.189 NRR) and Rajasthan Royals (12 points, -0.347 NRR)
If KKR win:
They will be closer to qualification on 14 points with a game left, but not yet assured of a playoff spot. While KKR’s net run rate is better than the two other teams on 12 points – Royals and Kings XI Punjab – the two teams on 10 points after 12 games – Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore – have a better NRR. If those two teams win their two remaining games and finish on 14, along with KKR, their NRRs will be better.
A loss for Royals won’t rule them out, but it will make their last league game – against RCB in Jaipur – a high-pressure contest. They will be on 12 points going into that game, while RCB could be on 10 or 12 points – depending on the result of their match against Sunrisers Hyderabad – with a better NRR.
If Royals win:
Because KKR and Royals have the same points and a negative net run rate after the same number of games, what applies to both teams – and the rest of the field – if KKR win, applies if Royals win too. So, even with a win, Royals won’t be assured of a playoff spot, because three teams could still beat them on NRRs.
Similarly, a loss won’t rule out Knight Riders, but could make their final match – against Sunrisers – a must-win game.