Dharamsala: All-rounder Sam Karan’s not out 49 runs in addition to Jitesh Sharma’s 44 runs of 64 runs and Shah Rukh Khan’s 41 runs not out of 73 runs after the top order failed in the important playoff match played here in the IPL on Friday. With the help of the partnership, the Punjab Kings (PunjabKings) scored 187 runs for 5 wickets, Rajasthan Royals (RajasthanRoyals) captured the win by 6 wickets and the playoff equation became interesting.
Before Punjab Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals’ hopes of reaching the playoffs had also ended. If seen, IPL 2023 has only four league matches to play, but so far only Gujarat Titans have managed to secure their place in the playoffs. At the same time, six teams remain in the playoff race for three spots. Let’s know about the current playoff equations.
Chennai Super Kings: Four-time champions Chennai Super Kings have won seven out of 13 matches and are currently second with 15 points. Dhoni’s brigade need a win against Delhi Capitals on May 20 to easily reach the playoffs. If CSK lose the match against Delhi, they will have to pray that either Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore lose their last match or Kolkata team beat Lucknow by a big margin.
Lucknow Super Giants: KrNal Pandya-led Lucknow Super Giants will have to win their last match to secure a place in the playoffs easily. Lucknow will face Kolkata Knight Riders in their last match today on May 20. If Lucknow Super Giants lose their last match, they have to pray that Mumbai Indians or RCB lose their last match.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: RCB will have to win the last match to reach the playoffs. Also, pray that one of the teams from Mumbai, Lucknow or Chennai loses their last match. If RCB lose against Gujarat Titans on May 21 (Sunday), it will be tough for them.
In such a scenario if Mumbai Sunrisers lose against Hyderabad, along with Lucknow manage to win against Kolkata, RCB can still make it to the playoffs after losing their last match. However, in such a scenario, RCB will have to be careful not to lose heavily against Gujarat so that their net-run rate is better than Rajasthan.
Rajasthan Royals: Rajasthan Royals, who are fifth in the points table, need the support of luck to make it to the playoffs. Rajasthan will have to hope that Mumbai Indians and RCB lose their last matches, while Kolkata Knight Riders face defeat against Lucknow Supergiants. Even if Kolkata Knight Riders win against Lucknow, the margin of victory should be less than 103 runs.
Mumbai Indians: Five-time champions Mumbai Indians have to win the last match to reach the playoffs. Also, pray that one of the teams from RCB, CSK or Lucknow loses their last match. If Mumbai Indians lose their last match, they will be completely out of the playoff race.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders will have to beat Lucknow by a margin of at least 103 runs in their last match. Also, expect Mumbai Indians and RCB to lose their last matches by huge margins. If not, Kolkata Knight Riders will be out of the race for the playoffs.