While Sunrisers Hyderabad (18 points from 12 matches) and Chennai Super Kings (16 points from 12 matches) have already sealed a spot each in the knockout stage, five teams, barring Delhi Daredevils, are still in contention. Both the teams now have 12 points in 12 games, with KKR at the third position due to a higher Net Run Rate of -0.189.
Let's take a look at what the five teams need to do to make the play-offs. Russell smokes the ball through extra-cover for a boundary off the second delivery, before Dinesh Karthik seals it for the Knight Riders with a four and a six to guide Kolkata Knight Riders to their seventh win of the tournament.
After three back-to-back wins, RR find themselves in jeopardy after the loss in the crucial fixture against KKR. KKR's NRR of -0.189 is weaker than Mumbai's (+0.405) and RCB's (+0.218) which could also prove critical as the days tick by.
The Royals climbed up to the fourth spot with 12 points from 12 games following their third victory on the trot, achieved riding opener Jos Buttler's blistering unbeaten knock of 94 off 53 balls.
Earlier, Kuldeep's magical four-wicket spell flummoxed Rajasthan Royals as KKR brilliantly turned it around with a superb bowling show to bundle out the visitors for 142.
With Narine clubbing K. Gowtham for 21 runs, including two fours and as many sixes, in the first over, KKR was off to a rollicking start in its reply.
While, Royals will hope for Buttler to continue his form in the upcoming games, a lot will be expectEd from skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Ben Stokes, who have failed to perform to their abilities this season.
Mavi had started the innings with one that jagged back and bounced sharply leading to Rahul Tripathi edging and Nitish Rana spilling it at slip. That kind of batting will not win you anything.
Sodhi was sidelined from Royals' match against Mumbai on Sunday because of an illness.
After the loss against RR, things have become hard for MI, but two wins will see them through due to superior NRR among the other seven teams.
KKR are coming from a huge win against KXIP in their last match at Indore. Like MI, thanks to their healthy NRR, they can also progress to the business end of the season in case of a four-way tie at 12 points. As the host team, they played with full confidence. Kolkata will have to beat RR with a big margin today to ensure KXIP can not topple them over with a better NRR.