Dubai: The league stage of the IPL 2021 is finally done and dusted and we have the four teams making the Playoffs – Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders. Friday's double-header – the first of its kind considering it were being played simultaneously in Dubai and Abu Dhabi had the power to alter the top four – held a lot of significance.
RCB had the chance to enter the top two, while Mumbai Indians had to pull off nothing less than a miracle – needing to win by 171 runs. But neither happened and we have the top four. The Capitals at the top with 20 points, followed by CSK at No. 2 with 18 points. RCB are tied with CSK at 18 points as well but lose out to a lower Net run-rate, and finally at the fourth spot are the two-time champions KKR with 14 points.
This means that we have the four teams that will battle for the IPL title in the Playoffs. DC and CSK will compete in the first Qualifier in Dubai on Sunday, followed by RCB and KKR fighting in the Eliminator for a place to play Qualifier 2 on Monday. The benefit of the Playoff structure is that it gives the top two teams a second chance in case they fumble.
Here is how it goes. The winner of the Qualifier 1 automatically qualifies for the final, whereas the team coming second gets a second chance to keep their campaign alive. The loser of Qualifier 1 then faces the winner of the Eliminator in Qualifier 2 and the winner of that match meets the winner of Qualifier 1 in the summit clash on Friday, October 15.
IPL Playoff Schedule
- Qualifier 1 - Delhi Capitals vs Chennai Super Kings on Sunday, October 10
- Eliminator - Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday, October 11
- Qualifier 2 – Loser of Qualifier 1 vs Winner of Eliminator on Wednesday, October 13
- IPL Final – Winner of Qualifier 1 vs Winner of Qualifier 2, Friday, October 15
CSK are three-time champions (2010, 2011, 2018), whereas the Knight Riders have lifted the IPL trophy twice earlier (2012, 2014). RCB and DC, however, are yet to win a single IPL championship.