The Indian Premier League play-offs start on Tuesday with Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad meeting in Mumbai.
This is known as the qualifier. The winner will go straight to the final.
It is a format which emphatically rewards the teams who finish first and second in the league standings. Whoever loses this one, will get another bite of the cherry.
They will take on the winner of the Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals clash, known as the eliminator.
The group stage can be a hard slog. So it is perhaps understandable that with both Sunrisers and Chennai having secured their progression relatively early, they started mucking around as if it was the last week of term.
Sunrisers, it seemed, werent even trying particularly hard. They lost three in a row.
Their reputation as being the best bowling team in the world is, frankly, in tatters.
Against Kolkata and Chennai they failed to defend totals which would have been like climbing Everest for the opposition earlier in the tournament. Against Royal Challengers Bangalore they conceded a massive 218.
Can Sunrisers now just turn it on again when it counts? Disregarding momentum in the way they have could prove to be a slow death.
Not that Chennai have been much better. They failed to usurp Sunrisers as leaders despite that horror run.
Against Kings XI Punjab in their last match they won, having been beaten by rags Delhi Daredevils with a performance of stunning ineptitude.
They were lucky against Kings. They decided to shuffle their batting order, treating the game as a net session, and were in an awful hole with ten overs left of the chase. They had Suresh Raina to thank for getting them out.
Not surprisingly the match odds dont float our boat. It sounds bizarre to say after each team has played 14 times but: how the hell do we know which version is going to turn up?
Sunrisers are 11-10 with Bet365. Chennai, who won both meetings this term, are 8-11 (Boylesports).
What, or rather who, we can rely on is Afghan leggie, Rashid Khan. The Sunrisers star man is 11-1 (Bet365) to be named Man of the match. Its value.