It's a bit of a mind boggler for the laymen and sheer wonder for the avid statistician, but do wrap your brain around the following to find out who needs what in order to qualify for the 2010 IPL semi-finals...
Nine wins across a dozen matches on the back of a superior run-rate sees the Mumbai Indians sitting pretty on 16 points - four points more than their closest rivals - and thus already secure in a semi-final berth.
All but through to the last four, the Bangalore Royal Challengers can seal the deal with a victory over Mumbai, whom they beat earlier in the tournament, on Saturday. Even if things do not go their way against Sachin Tendulkar's posse, a profitable net run-rate means Bangalore need not depend on other results - unlike the chasing pack - in the group stage's closing fixtures.
Another franchise basking in a plentiful net run-rate, the Chennai Super Kings only have to win one of their last two games - against temperamental Delhi or the bottom-feeding Kings XI Punkab - in order to line up alongside Mumbai and company. Losing both matches, however, will leave the Super Kings on shaky ground and all too reliant on other results.
Despite the presence of the big-hitting Virender Sehwag, the Delhi Daredevils' net run-rate isn't as formidable as one would have anticipated at the start of the tournament. Hence, they're left seeking a couple of wins - or at least one utterly convincing one - against Chennai and the Deccan Chargers this week. At the same time they'll be hoping fellow mid-table lurkers Deccan fluff their final games against the Kings XI and Delhi, leaving Adam Gilchrist's posse languishing on 12 points and the Daredevils in the clear on 14 points.
Even if the Rajasthan Royals manage to upstage Kolkata on Saturday, which will take them to 14 points, they're left with an unhealthy dependence on other results thanks to their unenviable net run-rate of -0.421. The former champions' only hope lies in a huge win over the Knight Riders coupled with two losses for Delhi and two wins each for Chennai and Deccan. Fat chance, indeed.
Another side to have fallen prey to a poor net run-rate, the Deccan Chargers' best case scenario requires wins over Punjab and Delhi to get 'em through to the final four on points. On the contrary, two losses guns the defending champs out of contention entirely, while a solitary win from their remaining two fixtures leaves them to the devices of other results.
In the same boat as Rajasthan, the Kolkata Knight Riders must win their final clash and will Delhi to beat Chennai and Deccan and the Kings XI to console their awful campaign with a two-triumph high. So in other words, a lot needs to go their way.
A snowball's chance in hell leaves the Kings XI Punjab needing to string together two wins on the trot - something they haven't managed all season - and a host of net run-rate unlikelihood to play into their hands.
This piece will be updated each morning to reflect the previous night's result, so keep checking in to see how things have progressed.
|Bangalore Royal Challengers||13||7||6||0||0||14||+0.467|
|Chennai Super Kings||12||6||6||0||0||12||+0.348|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||12||5||7||0||0||10||-0.632|
|Kings XI Punjab||12||4||8||0||0||8||-0.484|