With only a few games to go for the IPL 2019 cricket games before the IPL playoffs, the rat race for the top-four has just gotten even more intense. Like the previous IPL cricket game seasons, things have become more dramatic for teams concerned with some picking pace and some dropping their level. The league fixtures come to an end on May 5th and until then, things could go either way. The IPL playoffs for the IPL 2019 cricket game commences on May 7 with Qualifier 1 in Chennai; Eliminator on May 8 in Vizag and Qualifier 2 on May 10 will also take place in Vizag.
The final will be played on May 12 at The Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad. Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals have already sealed their place in the playoffs in the IPL 2019. Whereas, Royal Challengers Bangalore became the first team to be sent out of contention for this year’s IPL playoffs.
We take a look at how the teams are faring and what they must do to book the last two berth left for the playoff in the Indian Premier League 2019.
Chennai Super Kings (13 Matches, 18 points)
Remaining matches: vs Kings XI Punjab (May 5; Mohali)
Chennai Super Kings became the first team to qualify for the IPL 2019 playoffs once Rajasthan Royals beat Sunrisers Hyderabad. CSK earlier had the opportunity to seal their place off in the playoffs against Mumbai Indians but were beaten at Chepauk for the very first time in the season. Historically, CSK has never ever failed to qualify for the playoffs in the Indian Premier League and that streak remains undeterred this time around as well.
The question, however, remains is on what position of the IPL 2019 points table will they sit at. In their nine IPL appearances, CSK has finished in the top four each time with a top-two finish in five instances. This means they go on to play Qualifier 1 always and have had two shots at making the final. The win against Delhi Capitals meant CSK are unlikely to be toppled off their top spot – even if they lose the last game. The difference between CSK and DC is the net run rate column which comfortably puts Chennai ahead.
Delhi Capitals (13 Matches, 16 points)
Remaining matches: vs Rajasthan Royals (May 4; Delhi)
Delhi Capitals became the second team – after CSK – to qualify for the playoffs in IPL 2019. They beat Royal Challengers Bangalore at home to book their playoff berth after a wait for 9 years. IPL 2012 was the last edition of IPL that they had reached the playoffs off. They had a great opportunity to remain unhinged at their top spot but were outplayed with ease by Chennai Super Kings at Chepauk. The 80 run defeat also hurt their net run rate, which further assured CSK of their top spot in the points table
Mumbai Indians (12 Matches, 14 points)
Remaining matches: vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (May 2; Mumbai), vs Kolkata Knight Riders (May 5; Mumbai)
Read More : MI or CSK Journey Through Previous IPL Finals
Mumbai Indians had a magnificent chance to book their place in the playoffs against KKR at Eden Gardens but even after their 18-5 head-to-head record against Kolkata, solid batting by Shubman Gill and Chris Lynn at the top along with Andre Russell’s thundering hits denied Hardik Pandya’s blitz the chance to qualify as early as that. They still have two more chances left of booking a spot if they win against an SRH side without the power David Warner and Jonny Bairstow and return fixture against KKR with revenge on the cards.
Mumbai Indians have a great batting and bowling line up and now they need to bring in the firepower. Mumbai Indians also need to figure out their opening pair now that Quinton De Kock has left to join his national team for the upcoming 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (12 Matches, 12 points)
Remaining matches: vs Mumbai Indians (May 2; Mumbai), vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (April 4; Bengaluru)
Sunrisers Hyderabad finished their home leg of the IPL 2019 with an easy win over Kings XI Punjab. David Warner played his last innings of IPL 2019 cricket games with flare, as he too departed to join his national team for 2019 ICC cricket World Cup. They need two more wins- one again MI and the other against RCB to ensure that they get a place in the playoffs. But, what will really haunt the SRH is the absence of the dynamic opening pair of Bairstow and Warner.
Both these players had to leave for the ICC Cricket World Cup. These two have been the back home of the SRH campaign in IPL 2019. If they win only one of their two remaining cricket matches, then it will come down to the net run rate, with SRH having the best among the eight teams.
Kings XI Punjab (12 Matches, 10 points)
Remaining matches: vs Kolkata Knight Riders (May 3; Mohali), vs Chennai Super Kings (April 5; Mohali)
Kings XI Punjab – along with KKR – are the two teams who started their IPL 2019 journey with promising performance but managed to get lost and now things are murkier for them. KXIP had managed to win four of six matches at the start of the IPL 2019 but then proceeded to lose five in the next six. They were denied a win by the Warner led SRH, which has now made situations even worse for them.
Even if they end up winning their two remaining matches, they will be at the mercy of other team’s matches- especially MI and SRH. If they win only one, then to their fate rests in NRR, which is already against them. KXIP have a hard chance to qualify for this years Indian Premier League.
Kolkata Knight Riders (12 Matches, 10 points)
Remaining matches: vs Kings XI Punjab (May 3; Mohali), vs Mumbai Indians (May 5; Mumbai)
If it in IPL 2019 RCB started the season terribly, then it is KKR who have faltered midway. Despite the powerful performance of Andre Russell to get them wins at the start of the tournament, things have just not gone very well for Dinesh Karthik’s side. KKR had lost six matches consecutively before the match-winning innings of Shubman Gill, Chris Lynn and Andre Russell managed to clamour a win over Mumbai Indians in the final home game of the season.
While KKR would happily take the confidence from that massive win, the 2012 and 2014 IPL champions still need to make sure that they win their remaining two matches – one a reverse fixture vs MI – and hope things go their way in other fixtures including with the NRR.
Rajasthan Royals (13 Matches, 11 points)
Remaining matches: vs Delhi Capitals (May 4; Delhi)
After the rain played its part in Bengaluru against Royal Challengers Bangalore – with both teams holding slim hope of making playoffs – RR would not be greatly pleased with the interruption. The rains took control of the RR vs. RCB match, for which the match had to be stopped and both teams were given one point each. They were in a good position to chase things down before heavens opened up (again and dampened their playoff chances for IPL 2019. They’re up to fifth in the table but have played more matches than their nearest rivals- KXIP, MI, KKR and SRH- all of these teams have every two matches remaining, whereas RR has only one.
They will be playing against Delhi for the last and final fixture and they must win this one if they want to qualify for the IPL 2019 playoffs. The other things also have to go their way in respect to the remaining matches played by the other teams, only then can they qualify for the IPL 2019 playoffs. Right now while mathematically it is possible, practically the chances are too slim.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (13 Matches, 9 points)
Remaining matches: vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (May 4, Bengaluru)
The Kohli led team were the first ones to be eliminated from the playoffs of IPL 2019. They, however, might become a threat to SRH and hamper their chances for an IPL 2019 playoff tickets, if they win against them.
Read More : Top 4 Teams In IPL 2019 Palyoffs
Also published on Medium.