IPL 2024 – Threat of rain looms over RCB-CSK clash in Bengaluru

The match between RCB and CSK in Bangalore on Saturday will decide the final playoff spot.

Chinnaswamy Stadium has an excellent drainage system BCCI

The weather in Bangalore could impact the crucial match between Royal Challengers Bengaluru and Chennai Super Kings on Saturday, a match which will decide the final playoff spot in IPL 2024.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department, “heavy rain/thunderstorm associated with gusty winds (40-50 kmph) is very likely” in parts of Bangalore on May 18.

The city has received constant rainfall over the past few weeks. While it was relatively dry on May 15 and 16, central Bengaluru, where the Chinnaswamy Stadium is located, experienced overnight rains which continued until Friday morning. The weather was cloudy all morning before the match and the forecast called for rain and thunderstorms in the evening.

The forecast for Saturday also does not look promising, with accuweather.com suggesting an evening thunderstorm in parts of Bengaluru accompanied by showers. The temperature around 7:30 p.m., the start time of the match, should be around 23°C with 100% cloud cover. It should be noted that Chinnaswamy Stadium has an excellent drainage system. It is one of the few grounds in India with an underground aeration system, which allows play to begin 30 minutes after the rain stops.

A washout would end RCB's chances of making the playoffs. After losing seven of their first eight matches, they then won five matches in a row to stay in contention. They currently have 12 points and a net run rate of 0.387, while CSK are 14th with an NRR of 0.538. To surpass CSK's NRR and qualify for the playoffs, assuming a score of 200, RCB must beat CSK by 18 runs or chase down the target with around 11 balls to spare. A truncated game will make their task more difficult.

For CSK, the equation is simple: a win, a washout or even a close defeat is enough for them to join Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the playoffs.

Ashish Pant is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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