New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: The race to the playoffs has intensified with Rajasthan Royals’ seven-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab in game 50 of the Indian Premier League 2020 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Friday. With 12 points each in 13 matches but varying net run rates, Punjab, Rajasthan and Kolkata Knight Riders are eying the fourth spot in the points table.

Mumbai Indians is the only team so far to have qualified for the playoffs, while Chennai Super Kings have officially been knocked out of the race. That leaves five teams with barest of margins in wins and net run rates eying for the second third and fourth in the points table. 

Eoin Morgan-led Kolkata Knight Riders were comfortably placed fourth, but two consecutive defeats have dragged them to the sixth spot — behind resurgent Punjab and Rajasthan.  

Here’s how Kolkata Knight Riders can still qualify for the playoffs:

The best Kolkata can hope for from here on is to finish fourth and that, too, will require several scenarios to precisely play out. The team will have to beat Rajasthan in its final fixture on November 1 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Next, Sunrisers Hyderabad will have to lose at least one of its remaining two fixtures, while Kings XI Punjab will have to lose against Chennai Super Kings. Punjab has a better net run rate than Kolkata and will easily qualify if they win against the MS Dhoni-men.

Punjab would have got a step closer to qualifying for the playoffs with a win against Rajasthan. Invited to bat first, the team got off to a poor start, with Jofra Archer dismissing opener Mandeep Singh for a duck in the first over of the innings. A flurry of sixes by Chris Gayle steadied Punjab's innings in the powerplay. Gayle marched on after KL Rahul's dismissal and guided the team to 185 -- a total that proved to be below par in a pitch that favoured batsmen in the second innings. 

Posted By: Lakshay Raja