Faf du Plessis’s Royal Challengers Bangalore suffered a massive 54-run defeat at the hands of Punjab Kings on Friday night. This loss has not only hurt RCB, but they have made the playoff equation even more complicated. Five-time champions Mumbai Indians and four-time champions Chennai Super Kings have already crashed out of the tournament, while new franchise Gujarat Titans has become the first team to make it to the playoffs. There are only 10 matches left in the league stage and 7 teams are fighting for the remaining three places in the race for the playoffs.
Let’s know how is the playoff equation.
The big defeat against Punjab has increased the problems of RCB. This is the team’s 6th defeat in the 13th match. Bangalore’s next match is against Gujarat Titans, the strongest team of the tournament. RCB will not only have to win this match but also have to beat Gujarat by a big margin, because after 16 points, the screw will be stuck on the net run rate. After the defeat against Punjab, the net run rate of Du Plessis’s team has gone up to -0.323.
Meanwhile , Delhi, Punjab, Hyderabad benefitted from RCB’s defeat. Rishabh Pant’s Delhi Capitals, Mayank Agarwal’s Punjab Kings and Kane Williamson’s Sunrisers Hyderabad have benefited from this defeat of Royal Challengers Bangalore. While Delhi and Punjab have to win their remaining two matches, Hyderabad will need a hat-trick of wins to reach 16 points. After this, the team will qualify for the playoffs on the basis of net run rate. Delhi and Punjab currently have 14 points each, while Hyderabad have 10 points from 11 matches. In such a situation, the road to Punjab is going to be more difficult. Punjab has to play the next two matches against Delhi and Hyderabad only. Only these two matches will solve the mystery of the playoffs.
The chances of two-time champions KKR making it to the playoffs are slim. Shreyas Iyer’s team is at 8th position in the points table after winning 5 out of 12 matches. Even if the team wins the remaining two matches, then it will be able to reach only 14 points. In such a situation, their playoff ticket will depend on the performance of the rest of the teams. The net run rate of KKR is -0.057.
KL Rahul-led Lucknow Super Giants have to win one of the two matches to qualify for the playoffs. The team is currently at the second position with 16 points. Lucknow’s next two matches are against RR and KKR. On the other if Sanju Samson’s team Rajasthan wins both their remaining matches, then they will easily qualify for the playoffs, but a defeat will get them stuck on 16 points and then the matter will be stuck on the net run rate. However, at present the net run rate of Rajasthan is +0.228 which is better than the rest of the teams.
This RCB’s loss to Punjab Kings have opened up the possibilities of other teams too .