The first qualifier of IPL Playoffs 2018 will be played between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on 22nd May 2018. This is the first game of playoffs, IPL 2018. The IPL 11 began on 7th April 2018 between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. The teams that entered playoffs were confirmed with the game between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab yesterday.The defending champions Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab, and Delhi Daredevils were out of the tournament after the completion of 14 league matches each. The Delhi Daredevils finished at the last position this year. Last year, Royal Challengers Bangalore finished the tournament at the last place in the points table. This year, the Kings XI Punjab was ruled out of the tournament surprisingly despite topping the points table in the initial stage but their tables were turned after their week break and seven back to back losses.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad topped the points table in this season followed by Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Rajasthan Royals. The Sunrisers Hyderabad will play Chennai Super Kings in the first qualifier game at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on 22nd May 2018 and Kolkata Knight Riders will take on Rajasthan Royals in the eliminator at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. The winner of the first qualifier will enter the final and the loser will take on the winner of eliminator on 25th May 2018 in the second qualifier. The winner of the second qualifier will take on the winner of the first qualifier in the final match at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on 27th May 2018.
Let us have a glance at the star performers of the four teams that qualified for the playoffs.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (9wins, 18points from 14 matches)
Star performers (Kane Williamson 661 runs, Siddharth Kaul 17wickets)
The champions of 2016 faced a huge blow when the star player David Warner was ruled out of the tournament due to the ball-tampering scandal. But they did a splendid performance with both the bat and the ball. But the asset of the team is terrific bowling attack. The skipper Kane Williamson performed well both as a player and as the captain. He scored 661 runs at an average of 60.09 from 14 games with back to back fifties. The Sunrisers Hyderabad stood as the first team to qualify for the playoffs.
Chennai Super Kings ( 9wins, 18 points from 14 matches)
Star Performers ( Ambati Rayudu 586 runs, Shardul Thakur 13 wickets)
The Chennai Super Kings were the favorites even after the ban period of two years. Though they were trolled as an old age home, they did well with both the bat and ball and qualified for the playoffs after attaining the second position in the points table. Ambati Rayudu stood as the highest scorer for the team with 586 runs and the captain MS Dhoni scored 430 runs. They had to play their home games at Pune due to Cauvery board issue. They made a good start by defeating the defending champions, Mumbai Indians in the first league match and a good end in the league stage by beating Kings XI Punjab.
Kolkata Knight Riders (16 points, 7wins, 14 games)
Star Performers (Dinesh Karthik 438 runs, Sunil Narine 16 wickets)
Though the team suffered injury woes and lost overseas players like Mitchell Santner and pacers like Kamlesh Nagarkoti, they sustained and bounced back after back to back defeats. The captain did a great job at the need of the hour and stood as the highest scorer with 438 runs. Sunil Narine did well with both the bat and the ball and picked 16 wickets. They entered the playoffs by beating table toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kings XI Punjab and managed to beat Rajasthan Royals to reach the playoffs.
Rajasthan Royals( 14 points, 7 wins, 14 games)
Star Performers (Jos Buttler 548 runs, Jofra Archer 13 wickets)
Rajasthan Royals slipped to the last position in the points table by back to back losses at the initial stage but astonishingly bounced back by one man show of Jos Buttler as an opener. They defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last league game to enter the playoffs. They luckily made it by the defeat of Mumbai Indians in the hands of Delhi Daredevils yesterday at Ferozshah Kotla and the defeat of Kings XI Punjab against Chennai Super Kings. Jos Buttler stood as the highest scorer with 548 runs for the team by back to back the fifties in four innings.