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Kolkata out, Delhi hopes hang

With rain sealing Kolkata's fate on 11 points with one game in hand, even their win in their last match against Mohali won't help them qualify for the semis. Anand Vasu reports. Where the teams stand

cricket Updated: May 23, 2008 00:29 IST
Anand Vasu

Shah Rukh Khan's charisma be damned, Glenn McGrath's accuracy can be tossed into the dust-bin. For all of Gautam Gambhir's fireworks and Sachin Tendulkar's late return to the Mumbai team rain might just have the most decisive say on which teams join Jaipur and Mohali in the semifinals of the inaugural IPL tournament.

With rain sealing Kolkata's fate on 11 points with one game in hand, even a win in their last match, against Mohali will only get them to 13 points, and that won't help them qualify for the knockouts. This means they join Bangalore and Hyderabad in the list of also-rans in the tournament.

Delhi, on 13 points, still have reason to hope, but they will be hanging by a tenuous and slender thread. Delhi must beat Mumbai in their final match, on Saturday and then hope that Mumbai don't win more than one of their other two matches. This will leave Delhi on 15 and Mumbai on 14.

However, Chennai who have table-toppers Jaipur and wooden-spoon leaders Hyderabad to tackle already have 14 points, and so long as they don't lose both games, they'll get past Delhi's tally of 15 points. Even one rained out match will put them in a net run rate situation with Delhi.

If Mumbai beat Delhi, the equation is instantly simplified in that Delhi's game is up and Mumbai and Chennai will play the semifinals alongside Jaipur and Mohali.

What the rain has done is bring an extra component into the fray. While previously only wins and losses were discussed, now shared points are a reality. But as of now only two venues - Kolkata and Delhi - have had serious interruptions due to rain, and even these are unseasonal rains.

If you'd like a completely messy scenario, it would involve Mumbai losing to Delhi, winning one match and the third being rained out, it would put Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai all on 15 points and net run rate would come into play.