Sunrisers pip RCB to final playoffs slot
The Sunrisers Hyderabad sealed the remaining slot in the IPL playoffs with a 5 wicket win over the Kolkata Knight Riders at Hyderabad on Sunday night.
Virat Kohli led the charge on Saturday to keep RCB in the contention, slamming a blazing half century as Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Chennai Super Kings by 24 runs. The win put RCB on 18 points, at level with the Sunrisers but with a higher Net Run Rate. Sunrisers had one game in hand against the defending champions KKR and they made it count, strangling the runs before holding their nerves to finish a small chase.
SRH finished with a NRR of +0.003 to RCB’s +0.457 despite the win and would certainly have not qualified if they had remained on 18 points.
RCB finished the season with 9 wins yet fell short of qualification by 2 points, showing how close the Indian Premier League was this time. The last time RCB sealed 9 wins in the league stage was in 2011 and they finished as table toppers. 9 wins is also RCB’s most in the league stage of any IPL season.
Chennai Super Kings finished the season on top of the tables and will face the second placed Mumbai Indians in the first Qualifier at Delhi on Tuesday, the playoffs being shifted due to the ban on Sri Lankan players in Chennai. Rajasthan Royals will face Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator the following day at the same venue.
The action then moves to Kolkata where the remaining finalist is decided before the title is put on stake in the big final on May 26th.