The 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has reached its climax with only the final match left in the competition. After 73 closely fought and intense matches, the top two teams of IPL 2023 have been decided. The two teams will clash in the summit clash on May 28 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
The top four IPL 2023 teams included defending champions Gujarat Titans, Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians. Lucknow Super Giants have been knocked out after going down to Mumbai in the Eliminator. Mumbai faced GT in Qualifier 2, but lost by 62 runs, with CSK facing GT in the final.
GT and CSK had ended at the top two positions in the points table while LSG and MI finished in third and fourth place respectively.
How do IPL playoffs work?
How many teams qualify for playoffs in IPL 2023? This is the general question among fans and the answer for that is four teams. The IPL playoffs work completely differently in comparison to the semi-final format in World Cups. Here, the teams finishing at the top two positions in the points table first face off in the first qualifier.
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The winner of this encounter qualifies directly for the final. The second playoff match is called Eliminator which is played between the third and fourth-placed teams. The loser of this match is knocked out of the competition while the winner faces the loser of the first qualifier in the match called the second qualifier.
The winner of the second qualifier then makes it to the final to face the winner of the first qualifier. The loser, meanwhile, is eliminated from the tournament.
Which teams qualified for the IPL 2023 playoffs?
The action began on May 23, with CSK taking on Gujarat in Qualifier 1 at the Chepauk ground. CSK went on to win the game by 15 runs, and advanced to their tenth final in 14 seasons of existence. GT, on the other hand, won Qualifier 2 against Mumbai.
Mumbai had defeated Lucknow in the Eliminator on May 24 by a huge margin.
Let us have a look at the qualification path for IPL 2023 playoffs teams:
Gujarat Titans, the defending IPL champions, are once again the favourites to win the title. They ended the league stage at the top position with 10 wins to their name in 14 outings. Interestingly, the Titans, led by Hardik Pandya, were exceptional while playing away from home winning six out of seven matches. They lost only at the Wankhede Stadium among the away venues by 27 runs falling short in a tall chase. But they managed to win the rest of the matches pretty comfortably. They were not perfect at home in Ahmedabad but ended up winning four out of seven matches taking their tally to 10 wins from 14 matches and with 20 points, they topped the points table. GT were the first team to qualify for the playoffs. During the league stage, they never lost two back-to-back matches and always found a way to win games in tough situations.
However, they were unable to keep up their form in the Qualifier 1, as they failed to chase 173. Despite Mohammed Shami and Mohit Sharma picking up two wickets each, CSK posted a competitive total, which proved to be 15 runs too many. Though Shubman Gill got a start in the clash, making 42, no other batter could step up after his dismissal, and they failed to make the final.
It was an altogether different story in the Qualifier 2, when Gujarat came out all guns blazing, with youngster Shubman Gill leading the charge. In the do-or-die clash, the opener raced away to a 49-ball hundred – his third in four IPL innings. He ended with a score of 129, with his innings containing 10 sixes.
GT ended with 233-3 on the board, and MI were always playing catch-up.
Chennai Super Kings
MS Dhoni-led CSK sealed their second spot on the penultimate day of the league stage with a thumping win over Delhi Capitals. It was their eighth win and along with a no result, they ended with 17 points after 14 matches. CSK did experience a few lows due to their inexperienced bowling attack, which was found wanting at times during the season.
Like GT, CSK too weren’t great at home in Chennai but managed to win four matches. Even away from home, they won four matches while the game in Lucknow ended in a no result with rain playing spoilsport. CSK started their campaign with a loss to Gujarat Titans in the opening game of the season.
But MS Dhoni and his troops recovered from the early blow and put up a fine show. Especially, CSK’s batters were at their best more often than not covering up for some poor bowling successfully. As the season progressed, the bowling attack improved by leaps and bounds.
They were on the mark in the first Qualifier, as they successfully defended a below-par total to win against GT by 15 runs. They were led by a fine 60 by opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, and then some vital contributions by Devon Conway (40), Ajinkya Rahane (17), Ambati Rayudu (17) and Ravindra Jadeja (22) helped them over 170. With the ball, Jadeja ended with 2-18, with Deepak Chahar, Maheesh Theekshana and Matheesha Pathirana also getting two wickets each, which stalled the run flow.
CSK, who finished ninth in IPL 2022, will play their tenth final on Sunday.
Lucknow Super Giants
Lucknow Super Giants started their season under the captaincy of KL Rahul and ended under the leadership of Krunal Pandya. Rahul sustained a hip injury midway through the season and got ruled out. However, the team put up a brilliant performance and made their second successive playoffs.
LSG, at the start, were tipped to be amongst the top two teams after winning three out of the first four matches. But somehow they lost steam and at one stage were in danger of getting knocked out. The team lost their way completely after Rahul was ruled out and were in a must-win situation towards the end.
LSG players responded to the situation superbly and came up with a fine performance, winning their last three matches. They won the last game against Kolkata Knight Riders by just one run to officially seal their spot.
Lucknow were unable to find any sort of rhythm in the Eliminator and crashed out twice in a row at this stage. They had also lost the Eliminator in 2022, against RCB. Against Mumbai on May 24, they were bowled out for 101 chasing 183, to concede a huge defeat.
It was quite a topsy-turvy journey for five-time champions Mumbai Indians. The team led by Rohit Sharma started their season with two consecutive losses and are only here because Gujarat Titans did a favour to them by beating Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last league game.
However, MI have played like champions so far, especially in the second half of the game scoring and chasing 200+ totals consistently. They created a template of chasing down 200+ totals at home and won their last league game against Sunrisers Hyderabad by gunning down 201 runs as well.
Mumbai Indians won four out of the last six league matches to be amongst the IPL 2023 playoffs teams. Of course, they had luck in their favour but credit to them for stepping up in tough times and coming out on top.
Mumbai played GT in Qualifier 2 in Ahmedabad, after a huge win against LSG in the shootout. They first were led by Cameron Green and Suryakumar Yadav with the bat, before Akash Madhwal bowled a sensational spell, ending with figures of 5-5, as MI dismissed Lucknow for only 101.
However, they had no answers to Gill’s onslaught in the Qualifier 2, with four of their six bowlefrs conceding more than 10 runs an over in the clash. After the dismissal of Gill, they were troubled by Hardik Pandya, who made an unbeaten 13-ball 28, which helped GT to 233-3. In reply, Suryakumar Yadav did offer some resistance, but the score was too steep in the end as MI crashed out of IPL 2023.