Punjab Kings lost what was almost a must-win match against Delhi Capitals on Wednesday (May 17) in Match 64 of IPL 2023. The playoffs qualification race is still wide open, with seven teams competing for three spots.
With 18 points in 13 matches, Gujarat Titans are the only team to have qualified for the playoffs (they have also secured their spot in Qualifier 1) as no team can reach their tally of 18 points. On the other hand, Delhi and Sunrisers Hyderabad have been eliminated from the race.
That leaves seven teams competing for three spots. Despite their defeat, Punjab are still in the hunt, as are Chennai Super Kings, Lucknow Super Giants, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajasthan Royals, and Kolkata Knight Riders. Here are their qualification scenarios.
Chennai Super Kings – 15 points from 13 games, NRR: 0.381
Remaining games: Delhi Capitals (away)
Chennai will qualify if they beat Delhi, and finish in the top two if they finish with a net run rate superior to Lucknow’s (+0.381 to +0.304) and Bangalore lose at least once.
On the other hand, if they lose, Chennai will have to back at least two out of Lucknow (one match left), Mumbai (one), and Bangalore (two) to lose at least once to secure a top four spot.
Punjab Kings – 12 points from 13 games, NRR -0.308
Remaining games: Rajasthan Royals (home)
Punjab will never reach the top three, but they can mathematically finish fourth. For that, they have to beat Rajasthan and hope Mumbai (one), Kolkata (one), and Bangalore (two) to lose their remaining matches.
That will help them go past Rajasthan, Kolkata, and Bangalore and draw level with Mumbai, but even that will not do. Mumbai’s net run rate (-0.128) is superior to Punjab’s (-0.308), and Punjab have to make up for that too.
Mumbai Indians – 14 points from 13 games, NRR: NRR -0.128
Remaining games: Sunrisers Hyderabad (home)
If Mumbai win, they will qualify if Chennai (one match), Lucknow (one), and Bangalore (two) lose at least one match between them. If those don’t go in their favour, Mumbai may be in trouble, for the other three teams have positive net run rates.
However, if Mumbai lose, they will finish outside the top three, and will have to hope Bangalore (two), Kolkata (one), and whoever wins Punjab v Rajasthan does not catch up with them on net run rate.
Kolkata Knight Riders – 12 points from 13 games, NRR: NRR -0.256
Remaining games: Lucknow Super Giants (home)
Kolkata will at best secure fourth spot, and they can do that if, and only if, they beat Lucknow by colossal margin and hope Mumbai to lose their game and hope Bangalore lose either both games or at least one match big and Punjab to beat Rajasthan.
Rajasthan Royals – 12 points from 13 games, NRR: 0.140
Remaining games: Punjab Kings (away)
Rajasthan are slightly better placed than Kolkata because of their superior net run rate. They need to win and hope Mumbai (14) lose their game and Bangalore (12) either lose both games or one by a huge margin. Unless Kolkata win by a colossal margin, they are not a threat to Rajasthan.
Royal Challengers Bangalore – 12 points from 12 games, NRR: 0.166
Remaining games: Sunrisers Hyderabad (away), Gujarat Titans (home)
If Bangalore win both matches, they qualify. If they win one (but maintain a reasonable net run rate), they qualify unless Mumbai win by a humongous margin or Rajasthan lose their match. Punjab and Kolkata’s net run rate do not make them realistic threats.
Two wins will even make Bangalore a top-two contender – but only if Chennai and Lucknow both lose their matches and Mumbai do not win by a huge margin.
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