IPL 2023 Playoffs qualification scenario: How can the teams reach top 4?

Here's how the seven teams stake up in the race to the playoffs of the Indian Premier League 2023

Abhishek Singh New Delhi
IPL 2023: Race to the playoffs. Photo: Sportzpics

IPL 2023: Race to the playoffs. Photo: Sportzpics

The Indian Premier League is now seven matches away from ending its league stage and moving on to the playoffs, a four-team affair involving two qualifiers, one eliminator and a final at the end of it all. However, even with only seven games left, seven teams are still in the fray for three remaining positions in the last four. Here’s how the seven teams stake up in the race to the playoffs. 
Chennai Super Kings: Win the last game and go through 

Chennai have 15 points from 13 games and need one more win to finish with 17 points. Crossing the 16-point barrier means a direct entry into the playoffs. It is because, among the remaining nine teams (apart from CSK) in the league, two (Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals) have been eliminated. One (Gujarat Titans) have already reached 18 points and are through to the qualifiers. Only six teams remain in direct competition with the MS Dhoni-led side. But, Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders can reach a maximum of only 14 points and thus they are no competition for CSK.

So it is Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings and Lucknow Super Giants that can challenge the yellow brigade. 
If Chennai win their last game, they would move to 17 points while RCB and PBKS could only get to a maximum of 16 points even if they win both their remaining matches. Only Mumbai Indians could reach ahead of Chennai if they win both their remaining games as they are at 14 points and can reach up to 18. 

Lucknow could only reach up to 17 points if they win both their games. Since Lucknow and Mumbai play each other, only one of them could win both their games, thereby giving CSK an easy way to the top three with a win in their last game.

IPL 2023 Points Table after Match 62. Photo: Screengrab from IPL website
IPL 2023 Points Table after Match 62. Photo: Screengrab from IPL website

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Mumbai Indians: Win the remaining two games

If Mumbai win both their games, they will reach 18 points and get into the top two. There are chances for them even if they win one game. For that, they would have to either improve their net run rate or hope that either RCB or Punjab or both of them lose at least one of their remaining two games. 
Lucknow Super Giants: Win the remaining two games

If LSG win their remaining two games against Mumbai and Kolkata, they will move to 17 points and clear the barrier of 16 points, thereby qualifying for the playoffs. However, if they lose even one game, they would be forced to depend on other results. In such a case, where they win one game, they would hope that CSK lose their last game badly, MI lose their last game badly and RCB and PBKS lose at least one of their last two games. 
Punjab Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore: Win both games and improve the net run rate 

Both PBKS and RCB have two games each left. RCB play GT and SRH, while Punjab will be up against Delhi in the first match and Rajasthan in the second. 
If both these teams win their remaining games, then it would come down to the net run rate. Here is how these two teams can go through to the next round. 

RCB: Win both their games by a good margin- Hope LSG and SRH beat Mumbai. In such a scenario, RCB would go through as PBKS wouldn’t be able to catch them with their net run rate in minus. To make it even easier for RCB, they could also hope that PBKS lose both their games and DC beat CSK. After that, if KKR beat LSG, then RCB could even qualify as the second-best team in the league. 
PBKS: Win both their games by healthy margin- Hope that RCB lose both their games- Hope that MI lose both its games. In such case, PBKS could go through alongside GT and CSK and another team. Even if Mumbai lose only one game, be it against SRH and not LSG and the game in which they lose, they lose big and the game in which they win, win thin. If RCB win both games, then MI should lose both games and KKR should beat LSG. In s

Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals. Win the last game and hope for many things at once
KKR and RR are at 12 points each and have one game remaining. Assuming that they win their last games respectively, then they will finish with 14 points and Lucknow and Punjab will finish with 15 and 14 points respectively, assuming they won their previous games, before playing their last game. Even then, RCB, MI and CSK can pip both KKR and RR to the playoffs.

For KKR and RR the route to the playoffs is difficult but not impossible. Here's how. 

KKR: Beat Lucknow in the final match by a huge margin so that their net run rate becomes better than RR, RCB and MI. Hope Lucknow lose to MI before meeting them in the final match. If not, then Mumbai lose to Hyderabad as well. Hope SRH and GT beat RCB. Hope PBKS beat RR but lose to Delhi. If all these things fall into place, only then can KKR enter the playoffs. 
RR: Beat PBKS comprehensively- Hope KKR beat LSG, but not by a big margin- Hope MI beat LSG as well. Hope DC beat Punjab (but not really necessary if Punjab win by a small margin against DC)- Hope RCB lose both their matches against SRH and GT- In such a situation, they would be with 14 points and have a better net run rate than KKR and PBKS and more points than LSG and RCB. Thus along with GT, MI and CSK, RR will qualify for the playoffs as the fourth team. 

First Published: May 16 2023 | 11:15 PM IST

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