There are only two league games remaining in the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League. Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians have all qualified for the playoffs while the battle for the fourth spot has boiled down to Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad. With Rajasthan Royals bowing out after a loss to Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad losing to Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders have a simple task in hand to qualify for the fourth and final spot in IPL 2019. Kings XI Punjab will take on Chennai Super Kings in the first match on Sunday while Mumbai Indians will take on Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede. Here is what the three teams need to do qualify for the playoffs.
With the loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore, they will be praying to Mumbai Indians to deliver. They must hope that Mumbai Indians beat Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede. Kolkata Knight Riders have a poor record against Mumbai Indians, winning only six out of 24 encounters and they have rarely won at the Wankhede. If Mumbai Indians win, then Sunrisers Hyderabad qualify. If Kolkata Knight Riders win, they are through.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders will have to thank Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore for making their path easier. Delhi Capitals’ win knocked Rajasthan Royals out while Royal Challengers Bangalore’s win against Sunrisers Hyderabad has made their path easier. Their equation is simple. A win against Mumbai Indians will take them through to the playoffs while a loss will see them getting eliminated and Sunrisers Hyderabad progressing.
Kings XI Punjab
Yes, they are virtually out. Yes, they have a terrible net run-rate. However, they are mathematically in it. If they beat Chennai Super Kings by a massive margin of 150 runs, then they will have to hope Mumbai Indians beat Kolkata Knight Riders by over 150 runs or chase the target down in 10 overs. All these numbers are not calculated but highlight how improbable their chances seem. However, that is the magic of numbers. They are still in it. Believe it.
There is also something at stake for both Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians as well. A win for both sides will cement their spot in the top two. If Mumbai Indians lose, they will end up in the third spot and could face Kolkata Knight Riders in the Eliminator as well. If Chennai Super Kings lose and Mumbai Indians win, then they will end up in the second spot while Rohit Sharma’s side will top the table.