The 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) season is approaching its business end, with franchises looking to deliver flawless performances to finish the league stage of the campaign in the top 4. So far, defending champion Gujarat Titans are the only ones to have qualified for the next round, as a total of seven teams compete for the three remaining spots. Royal Challengers Bangalore and Lucknow Super Giants are two of those teams that are still in the fray. In fact, after Punjab Kings’ defeat against Delhi Capitals on Wednesday, RCB’s chances of qualifying have increased from 27.5 percent to 30.7 percent, according to official broadcaster Star Sports.
RCB and LSG, who have already faced each other twice this season, winning one game each, have arguably produced the most ‘engaging games’ both on and off the pitch. The altercations Virat Kohli had with Gautam Gambhir and Naveen-ul-Haq have not completely died down in the minds of fans who are still wondering if there is any way the two franchises can get back together.
With both teams still in the running to qualify for the playoffs, it is very possible that LSG and RCB will face off again this season. But for that to happen, they would both need to finish the league campaign in the top 4.
Scenario 1:LSG (15 points in 13 games) defeated KKR to claim 17 points. Chennai Super Kings (15 points in 13 games) defeated Delhi Capitals and also finished the league campaign with 17 points. But they beat LSG to second spot based on a higher Net Run Rate. CSK currently has a better NRR for LSG.
RCB win their remaining two matches – against SRH and GT – to claim 16 points and finish 4th in the points table. Such a situation creates a collision between RCB and LSG in the Eliminator.
Scenario 2: LSG defeated KKR by a significant margin to claim 17 points to finish second. This is possible if CSK (15 points) lose their last game or if they have an inferior NRR to LSG despite getting 17 points. LSG then lose the Qualifier 1 against Gujarat Titans to move to Qualifier 2.
RCB defeated SRH and GT to finish on 16 points. The Faf du Plessis led franchise then win Eliminator against Chennai Super Kings to face LSG in Qualifier 2.
Scenario 3:LSG finishes 2nd, as explained above, and wins Qualifier 1 to enter the final.
RCB, who finished 3rd or 4th, took wins in both the Eliminator and Qualifier 2 to set up the final clash with LSG.
Scenario 4:LSG lose their last league game against Kolkata Knight Riders to remain on 15 points. But other results fall into place for the Lucknow franchise to finish in the top 4.
RCB finish with 16 points to take 3rd or win just one of their remaining two games to finish the season on 14 points. Other results fall into place for the Bengaluru side to finish in the top 4 (in case of just one win out of the remaining two). The two teams then face each other in Eliminator.
Scenario 5: LSG lose their last league game against KKR and remain on 15 points. In that case, the qualification depends on other games and on the net run rate. RCB, on the other hand, won their last two games to gain 16 points and finished second due to the other results going their way. In that case, RCB can face LSG in Qualifier 2 (if they lose to Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 1) or in the Final if they win Qualifier 1 and LSG win both Eliminator and Qualifier 2.
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