The Play-offs

So far we’ve been taken on a roller coaster ride through the DLF IPL 2012. So far we’ve seen some world-class knocks, some brilliant catches just plucked out of the air, and some steel-hard nerves while bowling in the death. Now, this ride is about to take a whole new twist as we enter the most important phase; the Play-offs phase. So far only 2 teams have assured places in the play-offs so far. They are the Delhi Daredevils, with 20 points from 15 games, and the Kolkata Knight Riders, with 19 points from 15 games. The 3rd spot at the moment is occupied by the Mumbai Indians, who are sitting on 18 points of 15 games, but their qualification is not yet assured as the Rajasthan Royals (14 points in 14 games) and the Kings XI Punjab (16 points in 15 games) are still capable of rising to that score. As the NRR (net run rate) of the Mumbai Indians is a poor -0.16, both KXIP and RR have a chance of overtaking that. The Chennai Super Kings, however, will be hoping that does not happen because they are the only team to have finished all 16 of their games, and have yielded only 17 points. Their chance of qualifying are unlikely as KXIP, RR and the Royal Challengers Bangalore (17 points from 15 games) are all threatening to overtake them RCB were also looking as though this contest was over for them with 15 points from 14 games, but they bounced back spectacularly with a thumping 21-run win over DD in their own homeground, thanks to Gayle’s tremendous 128* of 62 which powered them to 215-1, the highest total this edition. To enter the play-offs, RCB must defeat the Deccan Chargers, who are currently languishing at the bottom of the table with 5 points in 14 games. A win will secure RCB a berth in the play-offs, but a loss will end their claim for the title. RR, however, will need to beat both DC and MI to stand a chance, but even that does not guaranty them a play-offs berth. Similarly, KXIP will face an up-hill task against DD, who will be bloodthirsty for revenge after the thumping they suffered in the hands of RCB and may consider bringing fast bowler Morne Morkel into the side. KXIP will be motivated by the return of Adam Gilchrist, who looked in sublime touch yesterday against CSK. A win will push them to 18 points, but unless they win convincingly, their NRR will not lift over that of MI, which must happen for KXIP to consider qualifying. Today RR will take on DC at 8pm IST. If RR win, then they will stand a chance. If not, then they will end their title sadly. So this match will decide RR’s fate. So all you RR fans out there, better watch if you truly support your team. Adios for now.Players to look out for- RR’s Shane Watson and DC’s Cameron White