Indian Premier League: Which team can still qualify for play-offs?

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Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli (left) can still make the play-offs, while MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings will miss out

In less than two weeks the 2020 Indian Premier League champions will be crowned.

This year’s tournament is taking place in United Arab Emirates, with the final in Dubai on 10 November.

As we enter the final week of the group stage, no team is yet guaranteed a place in the play-offs, with seven of the eight franchises still vying for a top-four finish.

BBC Sport takes a look at the current table, how the play-offs work and the talking points from the tournament so far.

The play-offs

Each team still has two fixtures to play in the group stages and there is an added incentive for sides to finish as high up the table as possible.

The top two from the group stage will play each other in qualifier one. The winner will go straight to the final.

Third and fourth place in the table will play in an eliminator. The winner will go on to face the loser of qualifier one for a place in the final.

Mumbai, RCB & and Capitals lead the way

South Africa and Delhi Capitals bowler Kagiso Rabada
South Africa and Delhi Capitals bowler Kagiso Rabada is the leading wicket-taker in this year’s IPL with 23 dismissals from 12 matches

Four-time winners and reigning champions Mumbai Indians currently top the table. Although mathematically not yet guaranteed, with a strong net run rate (NRR) they have all but confirmed their place in the play-offs.

But it has not been plain sailing for captain Rohit Sharma’s team and they will need to handle pressure situations a bit better; they have lost four of their 12 matches, with two of those defeats coming in a super over.

Royal Challengers Bangalore are still searching for their first IPL trophy. They currently sit in second place and one more win should be enough to make the play-offs.

Captain Virat Kohli has scored three half-centuries for RCB this season and India off-spinner Washington Sundar has been the standout bowler, going at an economy rate of just 5.65.

One win from their remaining fixtures should also send Delhi Capitals through to the knockout stages, but having lost three in a row – and with Mumbai Indians and RCB still to face – qualification is not a certainty.

Capitals will be looking to India opener Shikhar Dhawan – who scored back-to-back centuries earlier in the tournament – for big runs as they try to reach their first ever IPL final.

Kings XI turnaround and Morgan leads KKR’s charge

Kings XI Punjab captain KL Rahul
Kings XI Punjab captain KL Rahul has scored 595 runs at an average of 59.50 at this year’s IPL, including an unbeaten 132 against Royal Challengers Bangalore

Kings XI Punjab struggled at the start of this year’s competition, losing six of their first seven fixtures. But in a remarkable turnaround, they have won five on the trot.

Big-hitting West Indies batsman Chris Gayle, having not played at the start, has starred in all of those wins, scoring two half-centuries.

Two more victories and Kings XI are in the play-offs.

Also in the hunt are Kolkata Knight Riders, who will need to win their last two games but may still need to rely on NRR.

Leading the charge for KKR is England’s World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan, who took over as skipper from Dinesh Karthik midway through the tournament.

Royals and Sunrisers hanging in

England and Rajasthan Royals bowler Jofra Archer
England seamer Jofra Archer has played all 12 matches for Rajasthan Royals, taking 17 wickets at an economy of 6.71

Rajasthan Royals – and their strong England contingent – are just about hanging in there thanks in part to Ben Stokes’ match-winning century against Mumbai Indians and Jofra Archer’s economical bowling throughout the tournament.

To guarantee qualification, they need to win their remaining two fixtures against Kings XI and KKR and hope those two sides to slip up in their other games.

Sunrisers Hyderabad are also in with a shout but need to win their remaining matches and for other results to go their way.

It will be a tough task for Sunrisers, with ties against Mumbai Indians and RCB, but with the devastating batting trio of Australian David Warner, England’s Jonny Bairstow and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, they will fancy their chances.

Sunrisers and Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan – the world’s number one T20 bowler – has the best economy rate of this year’s IPL, going for just five runs per over.

CSK miss out and Dhoni’s last ever game?

England and Chennai Super Kings Sam Curran
England all-rounder Sam Curran has been one of the stars for CSK, taking 13 wickets so far and averaging 21.62 with the bat

For the first time in IPL history, bottom of the table Chennai Super Kings will not feature in the play-offs.

The three-time winners and last year’s runners-up have lost eight of their 12 matches so far.

With nothing left to play for except pride, all eyes will be on captain and India legend MS Dhoni.

The wicket-keeper batsman, 39, retired from international cricket in August. Will these final two games be his last as a professional cricketer?

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Fixtures

October

29 Chennai Super Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders, Dubai

30 Kings XI Punjab v Rajasthan Royals, Abu Dhabi

31 Delhi Capitals v Mumbai Indians, Dubai * and Royal Challengers Bangalore v Sunrisers Hyderabad, Sharjah *

November

1 Chennai Super Kings v Kings XI Punjab, Abu Dhabi * and Kolkata Knight Riders v Rajasthan Royals, Dubai

2 Delhi Capitals v Royal Challengers Bangalore, Abu Dhabi

3 Sunrisers Hyderabad v Mumbai Indians, Sharjah

5 Qualifier One: 1st place v 2nd place, Dubai

6 Eliminator: 3rd place v 4th place, Abu Dhabi

8 Qualifier Two: winner of eliminator v loser of qualifier one, Abu Dhabi

10 Final: winner of qualifier one v winner of qualifier two, Dubai

Live Commentary off all Matches, with the exception of those marked *, will be available to listen via BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra and streamed on line



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