New Delhi: As the teams brace up for the final round of Ranji Trophy Super League encounters starting from Wednesday, their will be intense battle among five group A teams vying for two quarterfinal slots.
With Mumbai and Karnataka having already qualified for the last eight stage from Group A and B respectively, one can expect some keen contests for the remaining four slots that are up for grabs. The last two slots will be taken by Plate Group semi-final winners.
The battle is likely to go down to the wire in Group A where five teams --- Tamil Nadu (14 points from 6 games), Delhi (13 from 6 games), Gujarat (13 from 6 games), Bengal (12 from 6 games) and Railways (11 from 6 games) will be fighting out for the two slots.
Among the other two teams, Assam (8 from 6 games) will hope that they atleast get a point against Saurashtra (5 from 6 games) in order to remain in the Elite group.
It was Delhi`s shock defeat against the Railways that has thrown the group wide open. Delhi, who will be playing arch-rivals Mumbai at the Roshanara ground would hope that they can manage an outright win (five points) which will take them to 18 points. That certainly will assure them a place among the top eight.
In case, Delhi manage only three and finish with 16 points, then they will have to wait for the results of the Tamil Nadu vs Gujarat and Railways vs Bengal clash.
If Tamil Nadu manage an outright win they are straightaway through to next round but even if they get three to collect 17 points they stand a good chance of qualifying.
In case of Gujarat, they would try and secure an outright win as three points would mean they would be tied on 16 points with Delhi.
For Railways to qualify, they simply need an outright win and hope that Mumbai and Tamil Nadu take first innings lead against Delhi and Gujarat respectively. A win would mean Railways would be on 16 points while Delhi and Gujarat will be on 14 each.
For Bengal, an outright win would take them to 17 points and they will qualify straightaway even if Delhi and Gujarat manage first innings lead as the two teams will be then on 16 points.
Position in a nutshell (Mumbai and Karnataka are through)
Delhi (In order to qualify)
If Delhi get 6 points (bonus included), they qualify with 19 points.
If Delhi get 5 points, they are on 18 and can still qualify provided Bengal doesn`t win with bonus points. If Bengal get a bonus, then they are through although both will have 18 points.
If Delhi get 3 points, they are on 16 and they will hope that Bengal vs Railways doesn`t have an outright result and TN gets atleast 3 points against Gujarat.
Tamil Nadu (In order to qualify)
An outright win against Gujarat will take them to 19 points and they qualify straightaway.
If TN get three, they move on to 17 and hope that Bengal and Delhi don`t win outright. If Bengal win outright, Bengal and TN will be on 17 points but Bengal qualify due to more number of outright wins
Gujarat (In order to qualify)
An outright win will take them to 18 points and they qualify straightaway.
In case Gujarat get 3 points, they would hope that Bengal vs Railways doesn`t have an outright result and Mumbai can manage 3 points against Delhi
Bengal (In order to qualify)
If they win with bonus points, they should then qualify with 18 points if Delhi doesn`t get a bonus.
If Bengal win outright and are on 17 points, they would hope that Delhi vs Mumbai and TN vs Gujarat doesn`t have any outright result.
Railways (In order to qualify)
If Railways win with or without bonus points, they can qualify provided Delhi doesn`t win outright against Mumbai.