Chennai Super Kings (CSK) lost to Punjab Kings by seven wickets on Wednesday in the Indian Premier League 2024 which intensified the race for top four.

Despite the loss, CSK is in fourth place with ten points from 10 games. However, if Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) beats Rajasthan Royals on Thursday it will displace CSK. Delhi Capitals (DC) too has 10 points in 11 games.

In the standings, Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) is third at 12 points from 10 games, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) is second at 12 points in nine games while Rajasthan Royals leads with 16 points.

With 10 teams in the competition, teams have needed at least 16 points in the past to make the cut. Hence, CSK can only afford to lose just one more match.

If CSK wins all its remaing games, against Punjab, Gujarat Titans, Royals and Royal Challengers Bengaluru, to get to 18 points, CSK will be front runner to advance to the playoffs. However, if it loses one game, it would need other results to go its way.

To start with, it could benefit from SRH losing against RR. Additionally, CSK benefits with SRH and Lucknow Super Giants playing each other later in the tournament. One team dropping points will help CSK cover ground. LSG faces DC which again benefits Ruturaj Gaikwad’s side.

Kolkata Knight Riders, on 12 points in nine games, also plays LSG and a loss for either side could potentially play into CSK’s hands. However, given KKR plays twice against ninth-placed Mumbai Indians, a loss for LSG would work better for Chennai.