The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 enters its business end with four matches remaining after the league phase came to an end on Sunday as the Chennai Super Kings defeated the Kings XI Punjab by five wickets. With the win, MS Dhoni’s CSK ensured they finished in second place while KXIP’s defeat meant that the Rajasthan Royals qualified for the playoffs by virtue of finishing in fourth place.
The top four, as a result, is as follows – the Sunrisers Hyderabad in first place, Chennai Super Kings in second place, Kolkata Knight Riders in third and Rajasthan Royals in fourth. The first match of the playoffs will be the qualifier on Tuesday as the top two teams – SRH and CSK face off to determine who will qualify for the grand finale.
The qualifier will be held at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and while the weather is expected to hold up well, it is worth pointing out that it will be the Sunrisers who will qualify for the final in case of a washout or the game not taking place for any other reason. They do so by virtue of their higher finish after the league phase on the points table, as they had a better net run rate than CSK with the two teams tied on the same number of points.
The Chennai Super Kings had an opportunity against the Kings XI to clinch the top spot by chasing down the target of 154 in the 18th over but they took the match to the last over as MS Dhoni slammed a six to take his team to the win with five balls to spare.