Delhi Capitals registered their third victory of the season last night (May 2) when they beat table-toppers Gujarat Titans in their own backyard. While still at the bottom of the points table, they may still qualify for the Playoffs.

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As we get into the ‘business end’ of the league, the calculators are starting to come out and rightly so. Some teams are engrossed in a mid-table battle to sneak into the top four and possibly even the top two, while some are hanging by a thread, trying to keep their hopes alive in the tournament. Delhi belong to the latter group.

Delhi lost their first five games of the season before winning three out of four. Until this year, they had never defended a score of less than 150 in the IPL. Yet, within the last 10 days, they have done so twice. They are still at the bottom of the table, with just six points from nine games, and have the worst net run rate of all teams, -0.768, but they are not technically out of contention for a playoffs berth, yet.

No team with 16 points has failed to qualify for the playoffs in the 14-match-a-side editions of IPL yet. While numerous low-probability permutations are possible, let us assume – for now – 16 as the cut-off. With six points in nine games, Delhi need 10 in five matches to reach that magic number.

Delhi, thus, have to win all their remaining five games. While it might sound like an improbable task, it has been done before.

In 2014, Mumbai Indians had lost their first five games, and had three wins out of their first nine – exactly like Delhi have this time. They ended up winning four of their last five games to qualify for the playoffs. In the same season, Kolkata Knight Riders won their last seven league games on the trot to finish second on the points table – and eventually win the tournament.

Teams have qualified with 14 points as well, with net run rate being the eliminating factor. If that happens, Delhi will have the cushion of another defeat in their remaining five games. However, they have a significantly poor NRR as of now, and overtaking teams will be difficult if it comes down to that.

Their remaining fixtures are home games against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Punjab Kings, and Chennai Super Kings, and away games against Chennai and Punjab. None of them is going to be an easy encounter, with all three teams currently on 10 points. But in the IPL, stranger things have happened.