To say Rajasthan Royals look like the likeliest team to make it through to the play-off in the IPL in some way among the last four teams will not be wrong.
In their last match at home, a seven-wicket win against Sunrisers Hyderabad has taken them to 10 points and above Kolkata Knight Riders to sixth spot in the points table.
A fifth win of the season means they are tied with Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab as far as points are concerned but due to a low net run rate, they find themselves below the other two.
But, the journey to the knock-out stage is not going to be an easy one.
Apart from winning their remaining two matches, the Royals also have to depend on the results of the other matches. That is due to their poor NRR.
Beating Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals will go waste if table toppers Chennai Super Kings, second-placed Mumbai Indians and third-placed Delhi fail to beat their respective opponents.
Other results are not in their hands, but Rajasthan should feel confident of winning against RCB and DC. Fellow strugglers Bangalore are also on the same boat as Rajasthan – needing to win all their matches, and Delhi are an unpredictable side as has been seen in the season.
Winning against these two is possible for the Royals if their big guns – the likes of Sanju Samson (48*), new man Leon Livingstone (44), Ajinkya Rahane (39) and Steve Smith (22), continue their good form and their bowlers bowl with the same intensity that was witnessed by their fans in Jaipur on Saturday against Hyderabad.
After winning the toss and electing to bowl first, the hosts were in danger of letting Sunrisers get a big total as David Warner (37) and Manish Pandey (61) added 75 for the second wicket. Then, Rajathan bowlers started to weave magic.
From 103 for 1 in 12 overs, they managed to restrict the visitors to 160/8 in 20 overs.
The likes oof Jaidev Unadkat (2/26), Oshane Thomas (2/28), Shreyas Gopal (2/30), and Varun Aaron (2/36) kept taking wickets at regular intervals.
It now remains to be seen if these bowlers and the experienced batsmen in the Rajasthan squad can continue the same form in the remaining matches.
At least, that is in their hands.