IPL Flashback - 2011: Chennai Super Kings counter ‘Gayle’ force in summit clash
The Royal Challengers Bangalore made their best-ever signing after the 2011 IPL had already begun. As a replacement for Dirk Nannes, they got the mighty Chris Gayle into their dressing room.Updated: Mar 17, 2019 23:47 IST
The Indian Premier League had made its mark as the best T20 competition in the world by the time the BCCI were getting ready to host the fourth edition in 2011. MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings had broken the jinx of winning the title in 2010 and were getting into the 2011 tournament as one of the favourites.
The organisers decided to tweak the business end of the IPL by introducing play-offs for the first time in 2011. Instead of the top four teams battling it out in the semi-finals, the top two teams would play in the first qualifying final and the third and fourth teams would lock horns in the eliminator match. Then the team which lost in the first qualifying final would face the winner of the eliminator in the second qualifying final for a place in the summit clash. There were two new teams included in 2011 - Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Pune Warriors. Totally, 10 teams were set to fight it out in the cash-rich league.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore made their best-ever signing after the 2011 tournament had already begun. As a replacement for Dirk Nannes, they got the mighty Chris Gayle into their dressing room. Gayle, who went unsold in the auction that year, lit up the competition with two centuries and three fifties.
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After a not-so-great start for the Chennai Super Kings, the MS Dhoni-led team notched four consecutive wins in one phase of the competition to stay in contention for a play-off berth. The Mumbai Indians continued their form from the 2010 competition. With nine wins in the competition, they ensured a place in the play-offs by finishing third in the tournament. Gautam Gambhir turned the fortunes of a new-look Kolkata Knight Riders and took them to a top four finish for the first time. Chris Gayle’s mighty blows ensured that the Royal Challengers Bangalore finish at the top of the table with 19 points.
However, the Chennai Super Kings found a way to keep the Gayle force quiet in the first qualifying match and beat RCB by six wickets for a place in the final. The Kolkata Knight Riders had a good run until they were tottering at 20/4 against Mumbai Indians in the eliminator match. Ryan ten Doeschate’s innings of 70 runs from 49 balls helped KKR put up a decent total of 147/7, but it wasn’t enough. The Mumbai Indians won by 4 wickets with 4 balls to spare.
Gayle returned to his supreme best by tearing apart the Mumbai Indians bowling line-up in the second qualifying match. The West Indian scored 89 runs off 47 balls to help Bangalore post 185/4. RCB won the match by 43 runs.
Murali Vijay set up the final beautifully when he blazed his way to 95 runs from 52 balls. The Chennai Super Kings set a daunting target of 206 runs. All eyes were on Chris Gayle at the end of the innings, but unfortunately for RCB, the West Indian faltered. Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed him caught behind in the fourth ball of the innings for a duck and the final was all but over. The Chennai Super Kings comfortably won the match by 58 runs and won their second consecutive title.
Chris Gayle won the Orange Cap for being the top-scorer of the tournament with 608 runs and Mumbai Indians’ Lasith Malinga won the Purple Cap as he was the top wicket-taker with 28 scalps.
First Published: Mar 17, 2019 17:47 IST