The IPL 2023 Playoffs is excitingly going right down to the wire with just six games left in the league stage.
Defending champion Gujarat Titans has managed to secure its spot in the Playoffs while seven teams remain in contention for three slots.
Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad, the laggards on the standings since the start of the season, were the first two teams to beeliminated.
The league stage ends on Sunday, with the playoffs beginning in Chennai on May 23. The final will be played in Ahmedabad on May 28.
Here is a look at the playoff scenarios for the teams in contention:
Chennai Super Kings (14 matches, 17 points) - NRR: +0.652
Four-time winner Chennai Super Kings had a chance to seal its Playoffs spot with a win in its penultimate league game but went down to Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets at home. Dhoni’s men are still poised to go through to the last four and require a win in their final match to seal qualification.
CSK can finish at 17 points with a win over Delhi Capitals. However, a top-two finish will depend on Mumbai Indians and Lucknow Super Giants. While MI can get to 18 points with two wins, LSG can also reach 17 points and perhaps pip CSK on Net Run Rate (NRR).
With its 77-run win over DC, CSK ensured its Playoffs spot. It is likely to feature in the Qualifier 1 against Gujarat Titans.
Chennai Super Kings remaining match schedule
- Match 67: Delhi Capitals v Chennai Super Kings, May 19 - Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi - WON
Mumbai Indians (13 matches, 14 points) - NRR: --0.128
Five-time champion Mumbai Indians has made a resounding comeback this season after stuttering with its weakened bowling options in the initial phase. With four wins in its last five matches, MI has jumped to 14 points from 12 matches and has even gotten itself into a position where it can compete for a top-two finish. MI takes on LSG and a win could virtually seal its Playoffs spot.
If MI also manages to see off Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rohit Sharma’s men will secure a top-two berth.
With a defeat to LSG, MI now needs to win its final game with a big margin to finish with a decent NRR on 16 points. MI can also ensure qualification with the two points if CSK or LSG slip-up in their final matches.
Mumbai Indians remaining matches schedule
- Match 63: Lucknow Super Giants v Mumbai Indians, May 16 - Ekana Stadium, Lucknow - LOST
- Match 69: Mumbai Indians v Sunrisers Hyderabad, May 21 - Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Lucknow Super Giants (14 matches, 17 points) - NRR: +0.284
A sensational seven-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad has helped LSG put its campaign back on the rails. LSG stands on 13 points in 12 matches but faces two challenging matches against direct rivals MI and KKR.
If LSG emerges unscathed with four points, it could vye for a top-two spot alongside CSK with NRR deciding the second spot. LSG can still fall short on the Playoffs if it loses both games. Even one win may not suffice for LSG as Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab Kings can also finish at 16 points.
With a win over MI, LSG has jumped to the third spot and a simple win in its final match will seal its Playoffs berth.
With a win over KKR, LSG claimed its Playoffs berth. It will feature in Qualifier 2 against RCB, MI or RR.
Lucknow Super Giants remaining matches schedule
- Match 63: Lucknow Super Giants v Mumbai Indians, May 14 - Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow - WON
- Match 68: Kolkata Knight Riders v Lucknow Super Giants, May 20 - Eden Gardens, Kolkata - WON
Royal Challengers Bangalore (13 matches, 14 points) - NRR: +0.180
Royal Challengers Bangalore improved its condition in the Playoffs with a staggering eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad before registering a 112-run win over Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur last week. The wins shored it up to 14 points while providing a massive NRR boost. RCB can now target a top-four finish but needs to win its remaining game against Gujarat Titans to stand a chance.
RCB is directly competing with four teams - MI, LSG, PBKS and CSK. If LSG and MI manage a win each in their remaining games, RCB’s chances will boil down to the NRR with the latter at 16 points. In such a scenario, Punjab remains the only other side that can get to 16 points and challenge RCB on NRR and scrape through to the Playoffs.
Royal Challengers Bangalore remaining matches schedule
- Match 65: Sunrisers Hyderabad v Royal Challengers Bangalore, May 18 - Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad - WON
- Match 70: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Gujarat Titans, May 21 - M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
Kolkata Knight Riders (13 matches, 12 points) - NRR: -0.256
While a crushing nine-wicket defeat at home against RR damaged its Playoffs hopes, KKR bounced back by thumping CSK to stay alive in the race. KKR’s chances remain bleak at 12 points with a game to spare. However, it can take down LSG and jump to 14 points.
However, KKR will need a few more results to go its way to stand a chance. It would require MI to beat LSG while also hoping that RCB falters in both of its remaining games (considering its healthy NRR). KKR will also require Punjab Kings to lose one of its almost. Not quite done yet. The two-time champion will also PBKS to beat RR but not DC, considering the Royals still hold a positive NRR.
The highly improbable scenario will also require RCB to lose at least one match before KKR can manage a dramatic return from the brink
Kolkata Knight Riders remaining matches schedule
- Match 64: Chennai Super Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders, May 14 - M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai - WON
- Match 68: Kolkata Knight Riders v Lucknow Super Giants, May 20 - Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Punjab Kings (14 matches, 12 points) - NRR: -0.304
Punjab Kings’ form fizzled out after its positive start under new captain Shikhar Dhawan this season. With 12 points from as many matches, PBKS shares similar concerns with RCB. With two games in hand, the Kings can target 16 points as their remaining games are slotted with teams who are on same points or below it on the points table.
If Punjab manages to earn wins over RR and DC, it will be in contention for a Playoffs spot alongside CSK, LSG, MI and RCB. Punjab will also want to boost its NRR in its remaining matches. It currently bears the lowest NRR among all teams in contention.
With a 15-run defeat to Delhi Capitals, PBKS finds itself in dire straits and will need to beat RR to finish at best with 14 points. In such a scenario, PBKS will also need RCB to not win more than one of its next two games while MI loses its last fixture to SRH.
PBKS’s chances for the Playoffs ended with a four-wicket defeat to RR in its final league game.
Punjab Kings remaining matches schedule
- Match 64: Punjab Kings v Delhi Capitals, May 17 - HPCA Stadium, Dharamsala - LOST
- Match 66: Punjab Kings v Rajasthan Royals, May 19 - HPCA Stadium, Dharamsala - LOST
Rajasthan Royals (14 matches, 14 points) - NRR: +0.148
Sanju Samson’s side suffered a crushing 112-run loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore last week and RR’s chances of qualifying has dwindled to a faint possibility. The Royals had won five of their first six matches before botching the remaining seven where they only won one match.
While it undoubtedly needs a win over Punjab in its final game, RR also requires a host of results to go in its favour to qualify. It would require RCB and PBKS to not earn more than one win in their remaining games. While CSK remains out of reach, RR will also require one of MI or LSG to lose both of their remaining fixtures to pull off a miracle.
With a win over PBKS, RR finished its league stage with 14 points. It now requires RCB and MI to lose their last matches to qualify.
Rajasthan Royals remaining matches schedule
- Match 66: Punjab Kings v Rajasthan Royals, May 19 - HPCA Stadium, Dharamsala - WON
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