As a result of their loss to the Delhi Capitals in their most recent match at Dharamsala, the Punjab Kings (PBKS) have fallen to eighth place in the points table, putting them in a difficult position. The Shikhar Dhawan-led squad must win their next match and hope that other teams’ results go in their advantage if they hope to finish among the top four teams.
Six games remain in the league division, making things extremely difficult for teams that have not yet qualified. As of this moment, the defending champions Gujarat Titans are the only team to have secured a spot in the semifinals. They have qualified for Qualifier 1 by leading the points table. As a result, only three places remain open, as seven teams are currently competing.
How is it possible for PBKS to qualify with a game to spare?
Punjab must win their final league game against Rajasthan Royals, who are also in the hunt for a playoff berth. However, a victory alone would not propel Punjab into the top four. Shikhar Dhawan and his team require a resounding victory comparable to that of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their previous match against the Royals. A significant victory will improve Punjab’s NRR, which is presently -0.308.
If PBKS win their next game, they will conclude the season with 14 points. However, the only chance for them to advance is if no other team reaches 14 points. KKR and RR are currently tied with 12 points, and a victory would elevate them to 14. RCB also has 12 points, but they have two games remaining, unlike PBKS. PBKS would need all of KKR, RR, RCB, and MI to lose their remaining matches, which seems nearly unthinkable given Mumbai Indians’ current record of 14 with one game remaining.
The only thing that can assist the Kings at this point is a good NRR, which requires them to win their next game by a large margin. In the end, if PBKS and MI tie at 14, the score will be 14. In this scenario, PBKS would need to score 180 and win by 20 runs, while MI would need to lose their final match by 26 runs in order to surpass the five-time champions’ net run rate and secure fourth place.