Chennai Super Kings' last-ball win is a terrible result for Kolkata Knight Riders, but it is excellent news for the other teams who are vying for one of the three spots that are still up for grabs. Here is how the seven teams are placed after Thursday's game.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Played 13, Points 12, NRR -0.467
Remaining matches: vs Rajasthan Royals
Losing to the Super Kings means the Knight Riders can only reach 14 points. They can still make the top four without net run rates coming into play, but for that to happen, many other results will have to work in their favour. Kings XI Punjab should lose both their matches, while Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad should win no more than one. In that case, Knight Riders can make it as the fourth team with 14 points.
If it does come down to NRR, the only team they can compete with are the Royals, who are currently on -0.505 compared to Knight Riders' -0.467. However, Royals are currently on 10 points - their NRR will improve if they win two matches.
Kings XI Punjab: Played 12, Points 12, NRR -0.049
Remaining matches: vs Royals, Super Kings
The Knight Riders' loss has given some wriggle room to several teams, and Kings XI are among them. While two wins will definitely take them into the playoffs - they could even finish among the top two - even with 14 points they now have a better chance of making the cut because their NRR of -0.049 is much better than that of the Knight Riders and the Royals - two of the other teams which can finish on 14.
Even if they lose to the Royals on Friday, Kings XI can still qualify if they win their last game and if other results go their way. Currently, Sunrisers have a much better NRR, so Kings XI wouldn't want them to win their last two games and get to 14.
Rajasthan Royals: Played 12, Points 10, NRR -0.505
Remaining matches: vs Kings XI, Knight Riders
The Royals have a poor NRR of -0.505, so their best bet for qualification will be if they don't get into a run-rate tussle with the other teams. For that to happen, they will have to win both their remaining matches, and hope that Super Kings continue their late-season form and beat the Kings XI. If the Sunrisers win no more than one more game, then the Royals will be through without NRR coming into play.
Mumbai Indians: Played 12, Points 16, NRR 1.186
Remaining matches: vs Capitals, Sunrisers
The Knight Riders' defeat means that Mumbai Indians have qualified, as a maximum of four teams can now get to 16. Also, thanks to their excellent NRR, it is almost certain that they will also finish in the top two. That is because only one of the Capitals or the Royal Challengers can finish on 18, and in a battle among teams tied on 16, Mumbai are too far ahead on NRR.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Played 12, Points 14, NRR 0.048
Remaining matches: vs Sunrisers, Capitals
Royal Challengers will qualify if they win one of their two remaining matches. Even if they lose both matches and stay on 14 they can still qualify without NRR coming into play, but for that to happen several other results will have to go their way.
However, losing both games will affect their NRR, which could result in their elimination if other teams on 14 have higher run rates.
Delhi Capitals: Played 12, Points 14, NRR 0.030
Remaining matches: vs Mumbai, Royal Challengers
Like the Royal Challengers, the Capitals too need a win to seal their playoff place, but their last two games are against the top two teams on the table, and the Capitals will go into Saturday's game against Mumbai Indians on a three-match losing streak.
Capitals can ill-afford another meltdown like the one they had against Sunrisers: if they lose their last two, it is entirely possible that Kings XI will go past them on NRR even if they finish on 14 points. In that scenario, Capitals could find themselves eliminated if other teams on 14 finish on a higher NRR.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Played 12, Points 10, NRR 0.396
Remaining matches: vs Royal Challengers, Mumbai
For the Sunrisers, the equation is simple: win their two remaining games, and hope that at least one out of Royal Challengers, Delhi Capitals and Kings XI don't reach 16. In that case, the Sunrisers will surely progress to the playoffs because their NRR is superior to all the teams which can finish on 14 points.