With 19 round-robin games left to play, five teams are fighting it out in a mid-table war for the last two knock-out berths.
Safe to say Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders are through and even safer to admit that Pune Warriors India and Deccan Chargers are out of the race to the playoffs in the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League - with 19 round-robin games left to play. The interesting part, though, is that it leaves five teams to fight it out in a mid-table war for the last two knock-out berths.
With just three points separating Mumbai Indians (14), Rajasthan Royals (12), Kings XI Punjab (12), Chennai Super Kings (11) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (11), the middle of the points table resembles an air-tight jar. The two that break free will continue to breathe while the rest three will suffocate to death.
Looking at the table and who's left to play whom, one can make a calculated guess as to who will finish in the top-four bracket alongside Delhi and Kolkata. Mumbai - with most points (14) in that pack - are at slight advantage with a game more in hand as compared to Rajasthan, Punjab and Chennai. And while Bangalore enjoy that same advantage, they have the least number of points (11) and the worst net run rate (-0.33) in that pack of five mid-table teams.
Here's a look at who stands where and is left to play whom.
Mumbai: Played 11, Won 7, Lost 4, Points 14, NRR -0.143
To play: Bangalore, Kolkata, Bangalore, Kolkata, Rajasthan
Rajasthan: Played 12, Won 6, Lost 6, Points 12, NRR +0.265
To play: Chennai, Pune, Deccan, Mumbai
Punjab: Played 12, Won 6, Lost 6, Points 12, NRR -0.309
To play: Deccan, Delhi, Chennai, Delhi
Chennai: Played 12, Won 5, Lost 6, No Result 1, Points 11, NRR +0.013
To play: Rajasthan, Delhi, Kolkata, Punjab
Bangalore: Played 11, Won 5, Lost 5, No Result 1, Points 11, NRR -0.333
To play: Mumbai, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Deccan