Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) may have had a disappointing start to the WPL, losing all five of their matches so far, but there is still hope for them to qualify for the playoffs. While Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals have been dominant, occupying the top two spots, the third spot is still up for grabs, and Royal Challengers can still compete for it.
If they win their remaining three games, they could still make it to the top three without the need for net run rates to come into play. This may seem like a tall order given their current position, but if Mumbai Indians win all their games except the one against Royal Challengers, and if Capitals win two of their last three matches (losing only to Mumbai Indians), then those two teams will finish on 14 and 12 points respectively.
This would leave only 14 points available to the other three teams in the tournament. If UP Warriorz lose all their remaining games, they will stay on four points, while Gujarat Giants will also finish on four points if they lose all their remaining games except the one against UP Warriorz. In such a scenario, Royal Challengers can qualify for the third spot with just six points, without the need for net run rates to come into play.
However, if Warriorz or Giants win another game, the qualification could still come down to net run rates. Currently, despite their poor start, Royal Challengers have a better net run rate than Giants (-2.109 to -3.397).
While this may seem unlikely, such turnarounds have happened in the past. For example, in the 2015-16 WBBL, Sydney Sixers lost their first six games, but then won eight in a row to qualify for the semi-finals, where they beat Hobart Hurricanes before eventually losing to Sydney Thunder in the final. Similarly, in the 2014 IPL, Mumbai Indians lost their first five games, but then won seven of their next nine to qualify for the playoffs.
Royal Challengers will need a lot of other results to go their way if they are to qualify for the playoffs, but they can start by doing what’s in their control and winning their last three games.
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