IPL 4: Teams battle for top spot

Last Updated: May 22, 2011, 13:59 PM IST

Zeecric Bureau

New Delhi: Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians booked their places in the IPL play-offs.

Sunday’s last round robin match will decide the positions of the teams in the play-off stage. The top-ranked Chennai Super Kings take on second-placed Royal Challengers in the first match of the day at the Chinnaswamy stadium on Sunday.

Chennai and Bangalore are the IPL`s form teams at present with four wins in their last five matches. Defending champions Chennai Super Kings are at the top of the table with 18 points from 13 games.

If Super Kings win, they will top the table with 20 points. But if Royal Challengers, who have 17 points from 13 games, pull off a coup against Chennai, then they would finish at the top with 19 points.

If RCB lose, they will either play Kolkata Knight Riders (16 from 13) or Mumbai Indians (16 from 13) in the eliminator. The winner in the Mumbai Indians versus Kolkata Knight Riders match will play CSK in qualifier.

With their strong run rate, Chennai could finish in the top two even if they lose to Bangalore.

Meanwhile, it will be a battle for the second qualification spot when the Mumbai Indians meet Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday.

The two teams ahead of them are ahead by just one and two points respectively with one game to play. So Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians will be playing to make it to the elusive top two, for those sides get a second chance even if they lose their first qualifier.

The Knight Riders under Gautam Gambhir have been the team of the IPL fourth season as they have come solid in both batting and bowling.

In the last match, however, Kallis picked up an injury while bowling forcing Gambhir to promote himself to the opening slot.

The left-hander hit seven fours in his 54-run knock off 46 balls as Kolkata overhauled a modest 119-run target with 20 balls to spare at the D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.

Down the order, Manoj Tiwary has been consistent averaging 64 from 13 matches, playing the role of a finisher.