The final day of league matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 will be a Super Sunday with Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) hosting Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the early kick-off and Mumbai Indians (MI) taking on visiting Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the night match. And both the matches are not dead rubbers as usually happen at the business end of any long tournament.
Only two teams are eliminated, Royals Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Rajasthan Royals (RR), while KXIP are alive only mathematically, leaving MI, KKR and SunRisers Hyderabad with a realistic chance of making the playoff as the fourth place team in the table. As IPL 2019 enters its final day of the league phase, here's how teams stand [Played-won-lost-no result-points/net run rate]:
(1) CSK [13-9-4-0-18/+0.209]
(2) DC [14-9-5-0-18/+0.044]
(3) MI [13-8-5-0-16/+0.321]
(4) SRH [14-6-8-0-12/+0.577]
(5) KKR [13-6-7-0-12/+0.173]
(6) RR [14-5-8-1-11/-0.449]
(7) RCB [14-5-8-1-11/-0.607]
(8) KXIP [13-5-8-0-10/-0.351]
So, who will finish in the top two?
CSK - A win against KXIP is enough for the MS Dhoni-led side to top the table. Even in defeat and MI beating KKR, they finish second -- if the margin defeat is less than 42 runs or 33 balls to spare.
DC - The Shreyas Iyer-led side can finish top if CSK lose to KXI by 42+ runs or with 33+ balls to spare and Rohit Sharma's Mumbai lose to KKR. Second if CSK loseby the aforementioned margin and MI beat KKR. In that case, MI go top.
MI - A win and they are top. They already by better NRR. A lost, and third.
By the way, the incentive of finishing in top-two is -- both the teams (1st and 2nd) get an extra attempt to qualify for the big final.
Who will join as the fourth team?
SRH - They have done their work, well, by losing their final league match to RCB. Now what Kane Williamson and his team need to do is wait for the MI vs KKR match. If MI win, they are through. If KKR win, they sit at home; also, if KXIP beat CSK by a huge margin, by 251 runs and equivalent in terms of balls spared.
KKR - Win and Dinesh Karthik & Co finish fourth with 14 points. Lose, they go home. SRH's NRR is better.
KXIP - Read above.
So, who will finish at the bottom?
The fight is between RCB and KXIP. If KXIP lose to Chennai, R Ashwin & Co will take that unwanted honour and spare Virat Kohli the blues.