New Delhi, May 16: Kings XI Punjab have an outside chance of making the Indian Premier League (IPL) play-offs if they win their remaining two matches to force a four-way battle with Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders for the three available spots after Royal Challengers Bangalore have gone through. This, if some of the remaining matches go topsy-turvy.
The onus is on Kings XI Punjab, who are on 12 points from 12 matches, to dislodge one of the three teams – Super Kings (16), Mumbai Indians (16) and Kolkata Knight Riders (14) – for a place in the play-offs.
With two matches left against the formidable Royal Challengers and Deccan Chargers, Kings XI Punjab are in a must win situation that would take their tally to 16 and they also have to hope that Knight Riders lose their remaining two matches against Pune Warriors and Mumbai Indians.
In all, Kings XI have a mathematical chance and their skipper Adam Gilchrist said they might still sneak in. But the Australian is aware of the realities as even if his side wins against Deccan Chargers it would be a tough task against leaders Royal Challengers. Kings XI also have to ensure that they win by a huge margin as they have a negative run rate of -0.183.
Knight Riders have been in a formidable form this season. They are expected to win against Pune Warriors but it could be tough for them against Mumbai Indians. Even if they manage to win one of their last two matches, Knight Riders will end with 16 points, enough to carry them through to their maiden appearance in the second round.
Mumbai Indians are sitting comfortably on 16 points and will face Knight Riders and Kochi Tuskers in their last two matches. Though teams need a minimum of 16 points to get in to the next stage, Mumbai Indians cannot breathe easy unless they manage a minimum of two points from their remaining two matches.
Defending champions Super Kings are also on 16 points and will be up against Kochi Tuskers and Royal Challengers in their last two matches. Super Kings won’t like to leave it till their last encounter and would like to book their berth by beating Pune Warriors.