Preview: IPL playoffs

IPL playoffs (Supplied)
IPL playoffs (Supplied)

Cape Town - After 56 exhilarating IPL matches, we are left with four teams. Here is what you can expect in the next five days of the IPL.

How it works & who are in the final four?

In the playoff stage, the top two teams, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings, play in the first qualifier on Tuesday. The winner will progress straight to the final while the loser will play the winner of Wednesday's eliminator between the third and fourth-placed teams, Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals, for a place in the final.

Qualifier 1

Throughout the tournament, the Sunrisers and Super Kings have been firm favourites as they ended the group stage on top on the standings. SRH have lost only five matches all season and two of them have come against CSK which makes for an interesting playoff. The Sunrisers bowling attack have been scintillating at times but have missed their marks in the last three fixtures. Rashid Khan, Shakib Al Hasan and Siddarth Kaul will need to find their areas if they stand against the exciting Super Kings batting line-up. CSK’s opening pair, Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson, have carried their batting line-up, but the likes of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Faf du Plessis are coming into form.

Recent Form (Last 5 fixtures)

Sunrisers Hyderabad: W W L L L

Chennai Super Kings: W L W L W

Prediction

Chennai Super Kings will beat the Sunrisers Hyderabad and will gain their position in the IPL 2018 final.

Eliminator

Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals have had their ups and downs during the 2018 IPL campaign. Both teams have star-studded line-ups which will want to entertain on Wednesday. KKR’s captain, Dinesh Karthik, has been one of the best finishers of IPL 2018 and will look to Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn to create a platform at the end of the innings. The Rajasthan Royals made the playoffs by the skin of their teeth and will look to take advantage of their situation. The departure of Jos Butler has weakened their batting line-up considerably and will look to youngsters, Sanju Samson and Rahul Tripathi, to score the bulk of the runs.

Recent Form (Last 5 fixtures)

Kolkata Knight Riders: L L W W W

Rajasthan Royals: W W W L W

Prediction

Kolkata Knight Riders will eliminate the Rajasthan Royals, setting up a cracker Qualifier 2 match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

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