WPL 2024 scenarios – RCB, Warriorz and Giants in three-horse race to third place

RCB, without doubt, have the simplest path to the playoffs. The other two teams will be willing them to lose big on Tuesday night

Sampath Bandarupalli

12-Mar-2024 • 19 hrs ago

Royal Challengers Bangalore are best placed to seal third spot on the points table  •  PTI

With two league games left to play, three teams – Royal Challengers Bangalore, UP Warriorz and Gujarat Giants – are still in the mix for a place in the playoffs. Last year’s finalists Delhi Capitals and defending champions Mumbai Indians are assured of finishing in the top two, but here’s how things line up for that precious third-place on the points table.

Will Royal Challengers qualify if they beat Mumbai?

Royal Challengers have their fate in their own hands: a win against Mumbai on Tuesday will confirm their top-three finish. They will move to eight points to finish ahead of Warriorz (who have finished their league games with six points) and Gujarat Giants (who can at most reach only six).

Are Royal Challengers out if they lose to Mumbai?

Royal Challengers losing to Mumbai does not rule out a top-three finish. Their relatively healthy net run rate (NRR) of 0.027 will ensure they stay ahead of Warriorz (NRR -0.371) unless their losing margin is around 60 runs if chasing, or with seven overs to spare if defending.

So, for an example, to stay ahead of Warriorz, Royal Challengers would need to score at least 115 if Mumbai score 175 batting first. The scenario for Royal Challengers if they bat first would be to drag Mumbai’s chase into the 14th over.

So Warriorz qualify if Royal Challengers lose by a big enough margin?

UP Warriorz will move to third spot if Royal Challengers lose big enough to fall below them on NRR. However, that will not confirm Warriorz’s place in playoffs, as Giants can overtake them on NRR if they win big in their last league match against Capitals. Giants’ NRR currently stands at -0.873, the lowest of all teams on the points table.

If Giants are batting first, they would need to win by between 54 and 61 runs, based on the total they put up: a 54 run-win should do if they score 120, and a 61-run win if they post 200. If they are chasing, Giants will need to run their target down in roughly around 45 balls (between 43 and 47 balls based on the target).

Can Giants overtake Royal Challengers on NRR?

We know what Royal Challengers need to do to avoid slipping below Warriorz on NRR (see above), but they also face a slim threat from Giants on this front. Giants could go ahead of Royal Challengers in addition to Warriorz if they win by around 57 runs (if batting first) or with around 45 balls to spare (if chasing).

So, much like Warriorz, Giants will hope to see Royal Challengers lose heavily on Tuesday. The lower the losing margin of Royal Challengers, the tougher the task ahead of Giants. And, for context, the highest winning margin for Giants in four matches across two WPL seasons so far is 19 runs. However, Giants have the advantage of playing last, so they will know exactly what they need to do.

UP Warriorz WomenRoyal Challengers Bangalore WomenGujarat Giants WomenDC Women vs GG WomenMI Women vs RCB WomenWomen's Premier League

Sampath Bandarupalli is a statistician at ESPNcricinfo

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