Kolkata Knight Riders – Played 11, Points 12, NRR -0.476
Remaining matches: v KXIP, CSK, RR
If they win
Kolkata Knight Riders will move up to 14 points with a win, and will open up a four-point lead between them and the fifth-placed Kings XI Punjab.
Apart from putting some distance between them and those below them on the points table, they will also close in on the top three teams, who are on 14 from one fewer game. A top-two finish suddenly won’t seem so far-fetched.
However, there will still be plenty of work left to do, especially because of their poor net run rate of -0.476. If Knight Riders lose their last two, and if Kings XI or Sunrisers Hyderabad win each of their remaining games, then Knight Riders will lose out on net run rate. To secure their place in the playoffs, they will have to win one more game and finish on 16.
If they lose
Knight Riders can still get up to 16 points if they win their two remaining matches, but Kings XI can also get there with two wins, and they will do so with a better NRR. Incidentally, both teams will play Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings in their last two matches.
If they win only one of their remaining two games, then they will finish on 14, and will be at the mercy of other results going their way. If it comes down to NRR, they will probably lose out.
Kings XI Punjab – Played 11, Points 10
Remaining matches: v KKR, RR, CSK
If they win
Kings XI will leapfrog Knight Riders and go up to fourth place if they beat them on Monday, because of their superior NRR. That NRR will also ensure they won’t need to depend on any other results, if they win their two remaining matches as well and finish on 16.
However, if they lose one of their last two matches and finish on 14, then things will get tricky, because as many as seven teams can potentially finish on 14 or more points, while Knight Riders and the top three teams can all get to 16 and eliminate Royals.
If it comes down to NRR, Kings XI don’t have much to worry from Knight Riders or Royals, but Sunrisers have a better run rate, which will further improve if they win their last three and finish on 14. However, Sunrisers’ last three games are against the three top teams on the points table.
If they lose
If Kings XI lose on Monday, they will need several results to go their way, starting with wins in their last two matches. Their best-case scenario then will be if Knight Riders lose their two remaining games, and if Sunrisers don’t win all three. That way, net run rate will keep them ahead of Knight Riders (and Royals).
Another outside possibility is if Royal Challengers lose their three remaining games and stay on 14. Their NRR is only 0.092 – the worst among the top three teams – and Kings XI can sneak past them if they manage to secure 14 points.
Also, if Kings XI lose on Monday, then any team that gets to 16 points will be assured of qualification.