What a week it has been for cricket lovers across the globe. The second phase of the Indian Premier League started off from the 19th of September and it’s been only a week into the tournament and we are already blown away with the quality of cricket that has been on display. Even though the conditions in the UAE have not been too batting friendly, most of the matches have been quite intense with the winners being decided in the final ball of the final over.
4 runs have been defended in the last over while 26 have been chased in the last two. Teams have been bowled out for 92 and even a score of 125 runs. It’s all happening and it’s been dazzling. This is the Indian Premier League.
As we approach the business end of the tournament let us look at the standings and scenarios of various teams:
- Chennai Super Kings – After having a horrific tournament last year, Chennai Super Kings are back to where they belong – the top of the table. They are sitting pretty at the top of the points table with 16 points from 10 games with 8 wins and two losses. A single win or at the most a couple of wins from their remaining 4 games should help them seal the top 2 spot that will give them two shots of reaching the finals.
- Delhi Capitals – Delhi have been fantastic this year. They also have 16 points from their 10 games where they have won 8 and lost 2. However, their net run rate is second best to Chennai which is why they had to drop to the second spot. Even for Delhi, a single win or at the most two wins should guarantee them the top 2 spot that gives them the added advantage of getting two shots into the finals.
- Royal Challengers Bangalore – After a great first half of the tournament, RCB started off the second phase of the tournament in a typical RCB style. They lost games back to back and squandered their advantage quite easily. However with a 54 run win over Mumbai Indians they have somehow done themselves a huge favour to negate their net run rate after being bowled out for 92 against KKR. They occupy the third position in the points table with 12 points from 10 games. They will need to win at least two to three games to seal the top four spots. And maybe if they win all 4 of their remaining games and either DC or CSK slip up, they might even have a shot at the top 2. However if they win just one out of their 4 games, they might not make it to the top 4. So there are all types of probabilities still possible.
- Kolkata Knight Riders – KKR occupy the 4th place in the points table with 8 points from 10 games. They have a superior net run rate which is why they are higher in the table even though 4 teams are with 8 points right now. KKR need to win all of their games from here on to have matters in their own hands as far as qualification is concerned. With the form they have shown ever since the restart, KKR are our favourites to win the race amongst the 4 teams with 8 points each to qualify for the play-offs.
- Punjab Kings – Punjab Kings did not win a match in which they needed 10 runs in 15 balls and only 4 runs in the penultimate over. They have had some very close losses this season which is why they are languishing at the 5th position of the points table with 8 points from their 9 games even after playing so well. They will need to win more or less all of their matches to have matters in their own hands. They might need a few results to go their way too in case they lose even a single match here onwards.
- Rajasthan Royals – RR are placed 6th in the points table with 8 points. However, their advantage over the other three teams is that they still have a game in hand. All three other teams KKR, MI and PK have played 10 games while RR have played 9. If they can manage to win 4 out of the 5 games they have in hand, they are guaranteed a play-off spot.
- Mumbai Indians – The 5 time champions have had a torrid time so far in the UAE. They have lost three games back to back since the tournament has restarted. They have 8 points in 10 games like three other teams. Their run rate has taken a beating after some huge losses. However, if there is one team in IPL that you don’t bet your money against, it is this team. Mumbai have pulled themselves back out of tough waters before many times and they will be looking to do the same. However with their team not in any sort of form whatsoever, this might be very difficult. They need to win all of their games and maybe need one or two results to go their way too. But this is Mumbai Indians we are talking about, they somehow always find a way.
- Sunrisers Hyderabad – The only team who is potentially out of the tournament so far. They have had a horrible season so far which is why they are sitting at the 8th position in the points table with just 2 points from their 9 games with 8 losses and a single win. They are for sure the wooden spoon holders for this season. Ever since the restart, they have had even more problems with some of their key players like J Bairstow missing. SRH will play to salvage some pride and maybe win some more points because 2 points from 9 games does not make a good reading at all.
So this is how the teams fare at the moment. Apart from Sunrisers Hyderabad, all teams are in contention to qualify for the play-offs. This makes things even more interesting as we approach the business end of the tournament. Which are the four teams you think will qualify?
Do let us know in the comments below.