The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League ( IPL ) is turning out to one of the most enthralling editions of the tournament there has been. Even after 48 games, still no team has qualified for the latter stages, and 16 points might not be enough to qualify for the playoffs. Here’s why.
Never before in the history of an eight-team IPL has a side failed to qualify for playoffs with 16 points but this could just be the first time. Last season, Sunrisers Hyderabad made the cut with just 12 points but this season, with eight matches left, as many as five teams have the chance to finish with 16 points in the league stage, meaning one of them could miss out on a playoffs spot by virtue of net run rate even with eight wins under their belt.
MI, RCB, DC, KXIP, KKR: 16 points
With Mumbai Indians becoming the first team to get to 16 points after defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore in Abu Dhabi, they will have to lose both their remaining matches for five teams to finish with 16 points.
Suryakumar Yadav finishes it off.
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) October 28, 2020
Both RCB and Delhi Capitals, who have 14 points each, will have to win one of their remaining two matches, while Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders, with 12 points each, will need to win both of their matches left to finish with 16 too, making things more interesting than anything the IPL has ever seen.
The following set of results in the eight matches of IPL 2020 league stage will ensure that five teams are tied with 16 points with the final equation coming down to net run-rate.
KKR beat CSK
KXIP beat RR
DC beat MI
SRH beat RCB
KXIP beat CSK
KKR beat RR
RCB beat DC
SRH beat MI
MI: 18 points; RCB, DC, KXIP, KKR: 16 points
There’s another possibility. Even if MI beat SRH in the last league stage encounter of the season and get to 18 points to take an outright lead at the top of the table, the other four sides will still be tied at 16 points, meaning one of them will miss out on a playoffs spot due to inferior NRR.
MI, RCB/DC: 18 points; DC/RCB, KXIP, KKR: 16 points
RCB and DC also have the chance to win both their remaining matches to get to 18 points but as they are scheduled to play each other in their last league match, only one of them can register nine wins while the other will have to do with eight, and finish on level with KXIP and KKR, again proving that 16 points might not be enough to secure a playoffs spot this time around.