New Delhi: With just seven matches left in the league stage of IPL 2023, defending champions Gujarat Titans have sealed their spot while Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad are out of reckoning. It means that seven teams are now fighting for three playoffs spots.
Lucknow Super Giants getting a nail-biting five-run win over Mumbai Indians on Tuesday keeps their hopes of reaching playoffs and reaching potentially in the top two alive. If they win over Kolkata Knight Riders in their last league match on Saturday and Chennai Super Kings lose to Delhi Capitals in the afternoon game, then top-two finish and playoffs qualification will happen.
But if Lucknow lose to Kolkata, they will need two of Chennai, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab Kings to not cross 15 points. The thing in Lucknow's favour is they play against Kolkata after Chennai-Delhi game is over and they will know what exactly is needed to get into the playoffs from an NRR point of view.
Mumbai, after the loss to Lucknow, are dependent on other results to go in their favour, even if they beat Sunrisers Hyderabad at home on Sunday afternoon. If anyone of Bangalore, Lucknow, Chennai and Punjab lose their remaining games, then they have a chance, provided they don't lose to Hyderabad.
Mumbai's loss has improved Chennai's chances of a top two finish, despite the loss to Kolkata at home. If both Chennai and Lucknow win their respective last game, then NRR will decide who finishes second. But a loss to Delhi will jeopardize their chances out as five teams can finish on more than 15 points.
If Kolkata win over Lucknow by a big margin and Rajasthan, Mumbai, Bangalore lose their remaining matches, then there will be three-way tie between them, Punjab and Mumbai on 14 points with NRR coming into picture. A loss to Lucknow though will end their run in the competition.
For Punjab, they need to win their last two home games at Dharamshala and finish on 16 points, with big margins for NRR improvement as Bangalore is superior to them on that front.
Bangalore, on the other hand, need wins in their remaining two matches for playoffs qualification, which received a huge boost on the NRR front due to a whopping 112-run win against Rajasthan.
Rajasthan, who have lost steam in the second half, can at best get to 14 points, which means several other results have to fall in place for them to qualify and hope to beat Punjab in their last league match on Friday.