The crucial IPL 2024 game between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bengaluru will determine the fourth team to make the playoffs and here’s how RCB can overhaul CSK on Net Run Rate.

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Bengaluru currently are placed seventh in the table with 12 points from 13 games while Chennai have 14 points from as many matches. RCB, who were once tottering at the bottom of the table with one win from their first eight games, have won five in a row and have a strong chance of overtaking CSK into the playoffs with a win in Bengaluru today.

However, just a simple win will not be enough as they will also need to cross the hurdle of CSK’s slightly superior Net Rate. Chennai’s NRR stands at +0.528, while Bengaluru’s is +0.387 and they will need to factor that in accordingly as they look for a win.

RCB bat first: what happens now?

RCB are batting first in the game after CSK elected to bowl. They scored 218-5: according to calculations, they will have to restrict CSK to 200 or lower to go through to the playoffs.

What would have happened if RCB chased?

The equation is simple would have been simple if RCB were chasing as well. If Chennai Super Kings make 130 or fewer, Faf du Plessis’ team would have needed to overhaul the target in not more than 18 overs. If Chennai make over 131, RCB would have had an extra ball to chase down the target – or in 18.1 overs.

RCB’s analysts will also need to be alert about the game situation when their team is chasing to prevent facing a similar situation like what Afghanistan faced during their Asia Cup clash against Sri Lanka last year. Afghanistan needed 292 runs in 37.1 overs to edge out Sri Lanka on Net Run Rate, but a misstep in the calculations saw them miss out. Afghanistan could still have qualified if they won the game with a boundary, which was not relayed to the team as they missed out from making it to the second round.

RCB will have the leeway of a few extra deliveries (approximately three to four extra balls) if they win the run chase with a six. For example, instead of chasing down the target of 131 in 18.1 overs, RCB can chase down 131 in 18.4 overs if they hit a six to win the game. The same also stands true for a four – RCB will not be eliminated if they fail to chase 131 in 18.1 overs if they can smash a four to win the game in the next two balls.

What happens if the RCB-CSK game is affected by rain?

If the match is washed out, CSK will qualify with 15 points. The best-case scenario for RCB will be a shortened game. Even a five-over match will keep them in the hunt for a playoff spot, though the odds will be trickier. If it is a five-over clash, RCB will need to win by a similar margin as they would need in a full game, ie, 18 runs.

If they are chasing, RCB will need to overhaul the target with 11 balls to spare, an equation that is tougher when there are only 30 balls to play with.