Already 52 matches have been done and dusted with but we still don’t know which four teams are going to make the play-offs of this season of IPL. This has by far been the most competitive edition of the cash-rich league as barring Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), all the other six teams are in fray to make the last four stage with one game to spare for each of them.
As things stand, the race for play-offs will go down to the wire and the final standing would be decided only after the last league stage match between Delhi Daredevils (DD) and Royal Challengers (RCB) is played on May 22.

A lot of calculations will go on for the next two days. We jot down all possible options and how the teams can make the cut for play-offs.

Concerned fixtures

Gujarat Lions v/s Mumbai Indians, Sunrisers Hyderabad v/s Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils v/s Royal Challengers Bangalore

 

SRH bt KKR – SRH will qualify for play-offs as league leaders with 18 points and other results won’t have any bearing on their position.

KKR bt SRH, GL bt MI, RCB bt DD – SRH will finish either at the third or fourth spot depending on the net run rate.

KKR bt SRH, MI bt GL, RCB bt DD – SRH will end up as the fourth placed team.

KKR bt SRH, GL bt MI, DD bt RCB – SRH will either remain at second or third spot.

KKR bt SRH, MI bt GL, DD bt RCB – SRH will finish in the top 2.

Best possible result – Finish as 1st

Worst possible result – Finish as 4th

 

GL bt MI, KKR bt SRH – GL will top the league stage with 18 points.

GL bt MI, SRH bt KKR – GL and SRH will have same points (18) but the former will have to be content with the second spot because of inferior NRR.

MI bt GL, SRH bt KKR, RCB bt DD/DD bt RCB – GL will finish fourth.

MI bt GL, KKR bt SRH, RCB bt DD/DD bt RCB – GL will finish fifth and get knocked out of the tournament.

Best possible result – Finish as 1st

Worst possible result – Finish as 5th

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)

 

RCB bt DD, KKR bt SRH, MI bt GL – RCB will go through as the top ranked team.

RCB bt DD, SRH bt KKR, GL bt MI – RCB wil finish third.

DD bt RCB, SRH bt KKR, MI bt GL – RCB will end up at the fifth spot and that will bring curtains down on their campaign.

DD bt RCB, SRH bt KKR, GL bt MI – RCB will somehow manage to stay afloat in the competition by finishing fourth.

DD bt RCB, KKR bt SRH, GL bt MI – RCB will finish as low as fifth.

DD bt RCB, KKR bt SRH, MI bt GL – RCB will end their tournament on a drastic note by finishing sixth.

Best possible result – Finish as 1st

Worst possible result – Finish as 6th

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)

 

KKR bt SRH, MI bt GL, DD bt RCB – KKR can top the table provided they beat SRH by a huge margin, or else, they would finish second.

KKR bt SRH, GL bt MI, DD bt RCB – KKR will either end up in the second or third place.

KKR bt SRH, MI bt GL, RCB bt DD – KKR will take either the third or fourth position.

KKR bt SRH, GL bt MI, RCB bt DD – KKR will either be third or fourth at the end.

SRH bt KKR, GL bt MI, DD bt RCB – KKR will be pushed down to fifth.

SRH bt KKR, MI bt GL, DD bt RCB – KKR will finish sixth.

SRH bt KKR, GL bt MI, RCB bt DD – KKR will scrape through to the play-offs by ending up at the fourth spot. They will then be on equal points (14) with MI and DD, but better NRR will help them out.

SRH bt KKR, MI bt GL, RCB bt DD – KKR will finish fifth.

Best possible result – Finish as 1st

Worst possible result – Finish as 6th

Mumbai Indians (MI)

Remaining game v/s GL

A win for MI can take them anywhere between second and fourth spot depending on other results but a defeat will knock them out of the tournament.

Best possible result – Finish as 2nd

Worst possible result – Finish as 6th

Delhi Daredevils (DD)

(14 pts, NRR – -0.102)

Remaining games v/s (SRH & RCB)

Considering their negative NRR, the Daredevils can only make the play-offs if they beat RCB (they would finish second, third or fourth depending on other results). Whereas a defeat will bring their tournament to a premature halt.

Best possible result – Finish as 2nd

Worst possible result – Finish as 6th

Prediction

Gujarat Lions have got their captain, Suresh Raina back in the team and back in form and they look better poised than Mumbai to win the game. Hyderabad have a strong pace battery but the game against KKR is at Eden Gardens where the hosts will most likely produce a turning track to get the better of their opponents. So the home conditions give KKR a slight edge over SRH. While RCB are on a roll and with Chris Gayle finally scoring big, the red brigade are the favourites to beat Delhi.