The IPL 2023 playoffs are getting excitingly down with just six matches remaining in the league stage.
Defending champions Gujarat Titans have managed to secure a place in the playoffs, with seven teams remaining in contention for the three slots.
Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad, who have been trailing in the points table since the start of the season, are the first two teams to be eliminated.
The league phase will conclude on Sunday with the playoffs starting on May 23 in Chennai. The final will be held in Ahmedabad on May 28.
Here are the playoff scenarios for the competing teams:
Chennai Super Kings (14 matches, 17 points) – NRR: +0.652
Four-time winners Chennai Super Kings had a chance to seal a play-off spot with a win in their last league match but lost by six wickets at home to Kolkata Knight Riders. Dhoni’s men are ready to make it to the last four and win the final match to ensure qualification.
A win against Delhi Capitals will see CSK finish on 17 points. However, the top two positions will depend on Mumbai Indians and Lucknow Supergiants. With MI reaching 18 points with two wins, LSG can reach 17 points and possibly pip CSK on Net Run Rate (NRR).
With a 77-run win over DC, CSK secured its playoff spot. It is likely to be slotted for Qualifier 1 against Gujarat Titans.
Chennai Super Kings Match Schedule Remaining
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 champions Mumbai Indians have made a brilliant comeback this season after stuttering in the early stages with weak bowling options. With four wins in their last five matches, MI have jumped to 14 points from 12 matches and are even in a position to challenge for the top two spots. MI take on LSG and a win could virtually seal their playoff spot.
If MI manage to defeat Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rohit Sharma’s men will secure the top two spots.
With the loss to LSG MI now need to win their last game by a huge margin to finish with a respectable NRR of 16 points. MI can also secure qualification with two points if CSK or LSG slip-up in their final matches.
Schedule of remaining matches of Mumbai Indians
Match 63: Lucknow Supergiants 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 resounding seven-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad helped LSG get back on track. LSG sit with 13 points from 12 matches but face two challenging fixtures against direct rivals MI and KKR.
If LSG emerge unscathed with four points, they could be in contention for the top two with CSK, while NRR will decide the second spot. If they lose both games, LSG could still fall in the playoffs. Even a win won’t be enough for LSG as Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab Kings can finish on 16 points.
With the win against MI, LSG moved up to third place and a simple win in the final match would secure a playoff berth.
With the win against KKR, LSG claimed its playoff berth. It will be showcased in Qualifier 2 against RCB, MI or RR.
Lucknow Super Giants Remaining Matches Schedule
Match 63: Lucknow Supergiants v Mumbai Indians, May 14 – Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow – Won
Match 68: Kolkata Knight Riders v Lucknow Supergiants, May 20 – Eden Gardens, Kolkata – Won
Royal Challengers Bangalore (13 matches, 14 points) – NRR: +0.180
Royal Challengers Bangalore improved their status in the playoffs with a resounding eight-wicket victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad before posting a 112-run win over Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur last week. The wins took it to 14 points, giving it a huge NRR boost. RCB can now aim for a top four finish but need to win their remaining match against Gujarat Titans to stand a chance.
RCB is directly competing with four teams namely MI, LSG, PBKS and CSK. If LSG and MI win each of their remaining games, RCB’s chances will narrow to NRR, the latter with 16 points. In such a scenario, Punjab remains the only team to get 16 points, challenge RCB in NRR and enter the playoffs.
Royal Challengers Bangalore Remaining Match 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 loss at home to RR dented its playoff hopes, KKR bounced back by crushing CSK to stay alive in the race. KKR’s chances look bleak with 12 points to go. However, it can take down LSG and jump to 14 points.
However, KKR need a few more results to stand a chance. MI need to beat LSG, while RCB are expected to lose their remaining two games (given a healthy NRR). KKR will be asking Punjab Kings to lose their almost one. Not over yet. A two time champion he will PBKS to beat RR but not DC and Royals still have a positive NRR.
In a highly unlikely scenario, RCB will have to lose at least one match before KKR can manage a dramatic comeback from the brink.
Kolkata Knight Riders Remaining Match Schedule
Match 64: Chennai Super Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders, May 14 – MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai – Won
Match 68: Kolkata Knight Riders v Lucknow Supergiants, May 20 – Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Punjab Kings (14 matches, 12 points) – NRR: -0.304
After a good start under new captain Shikhar Dhawan this season, Punjab Kings’ form has collapsed. PBKS, with 12 points from as many matches, share similar concerns with RCB. With two games in hand, the Kings are targeting 16 points as their remaining games are slotted against teams on the same point or lower in the points table.
If Punjab manage to win against RR and DC, they will be in contention for a playoff spot along with CSK, LSG, MI and RCB. Punjab will also want to increase their NRR in their remaining matches. It carries the lowest NRR of all the currently competing teams.
Defeated by 15 runs against Delhi Capitals. PBKS are in dire straits and need to beat RR to finish well with 14 points. In such a scenario, PBKS will need RCB not to win more than one of the next two games, while MI will lose its last match to SRH.
PBKS’s playoff chances ended with a four-wicket loss to RR in the last league match.
Schedule of remaining matches of Punjab Kings
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 defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore last week, leaving RR’s chances of qualification looking dim. The Royals won five of their first six games but lost just one game before losing the remaining seven.
While a win against Punjab in the final match is imperative, RR need several results to go in their favor to qualify. Both RCB and PBKS will be looking to avoid more than one win in their remaining games. While CSK remains within reach, RR will have to lose their remaining two fixtures to either MI or LSG to pull off a miracle.
RR finished the league stage with 14 points with a win over PBKS. Both RCB and MI need to lose their last matches to qualify.
Rajasthan Royals Remaining Match Schedule
Match 66: Punjab Kings v Rajasthan Royals, May 19 – HPCA Stadium, Dharamshala – Won