Eight teams, 56 matches and 44 days – that’s what it took to weed out the best from the rest this Indian T20 League season. Four teams have booked playoff berths and it went down to the wire with the very last game finally deciding the fourth and final playoff spot of the season. After a hard fought six weeks of intense, riveting action, here are your teams that will do battle for the 2019 crown – Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Hyderabad.
In what has been one of the most hard-fought league stages in history, three teams were in the fray to seal the final berth on Sunday. Eventually, Hyderabad piped Kolkata and Punjab with better net run rate after the three teams were locked in a three-way tie on 12 points.
The battle at the top was intense too. Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi finished with 18 points with only net run rate playing differentiator. On the other hand, the gap between fourth-ranked Hyderabad and bottom-placed Bangalore was just one – the fewest ever in a season. And, Mumbai had never peaked the points table before. However their streak of nine wins in their last 11 matches ensured that they finish atop after registering a comprehensive win over Kolkata in the last League game to book a showdown with MS Dhoni’s Chennai in Qualifier 1 at the Lion’s Den – Chepauk.
Hyderabad benefitted from Kolkata’s exclusion as they made it to the playoffs with only 12 points and will now take on the Delhi in Eliminator 1 at Vizag. Hyderabad become the first ever team to make the playoffs with 12 points on the board.
Bangalore, which finished last on the points table, managed 11 points which is the most amassed by the bottom-ranked team in a season.
Both Mumbai and Chennai will now be eyeing their fourth League title while Delhi have managed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2012. Also, Hyderabad will aim to clinch their second League title after booking a playoff spot for the fourth consecutive season.
Chennai and Mumbai have won the League three times while Delhi have never reached the final. Hyderabad had won in 2016 and reached the final in 2018.
Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai were the most consistent teams in the group stages and it was no surprise when they sealed the first 3 spots.
SCHEDULE – ALL GAMES @ 07.30pm
Tuesday 7th May 2019
Qualifier 1 – Mumbai vs Chennai @ M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
Wednesday 8th May 2019
Eliminator – Delhi vs Hyderabad @ ACA-VDCA Stadium, Visakhapatnam
Friday 10th May 2019
Qualifier 2 – Loser of Qualifier 1 vs Winner of Eliminator @ ACA-VDCA Stadium, Visakhapatnam
Sunday 12th May 2019 @ Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad
Most Runs: 692 (David Warner, Hyderabad)
Most Wickets: 25 (Kagiso Rabada, Delhi)
Highest Score: 114* (56) (Jonny Bairstow, Hyderabad)
Best Bowling: 6-12 (Alzarri Joseph, Mumbai)
Hyderabad created history on Sunday by becoming the first-ever team to qualify for the playoffs (or the knockout stages) of the tournament with just 12 points in the league phase.
While Punjab’s mathematical chances went up in smoke despite their six-wicket win over Chennai in the penultimate league game on Sunday, Kolkata had their fate in their own hands as they needed just a win over Mumbai to finish with 14 points and qualify for the playoffs.
However, a shoddy batting show, including a rare failure from Andre Russell, saw Kolkata suffer a nine-wicket thrashing at the Wankhede Stadium.
KNOW YOUR TEAMS
Mumbai (18 points): Mumbai had won the League for the third time in 2017 but they failed miserably in 2018. Nothing clicked for last year and they finished the season with a heartbreak when they failed to qualify for the playoffs. But they were determined to change their fortunes in 2019 and Hardik Pandya’s form helped them immensely. He has had his best stint with the bat in the League so far. Rohit Sharma has had a below-average season but Quinton de Kock stepped up with plenty of runs this summer. Kieron Pollard has not been at his best either but his 31-ball 81 against Punjab gave Mumbai the belief to do it all over again. Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga did what they do best – rattle batsmen with their pace and guile while young Rahul Chahar proved to be a revelation. They finished on top of the points table after crushing Kolkata by 9 wickets in the final league game of the season at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.
Chennai (18 points): The defending champions were the first team to seal a berth in the playoffs. Consistent throughout the tournament, they were always in contention to qualify for the playoffs. Shane Watson, who scored 2 hundreds in 2018, was not in great form but the others stepped up. MS Dhoni had another great season with the bat while Suresh Raina upped the ante later in the season. Faf du Plessis also returned to form with a stylish 96 Punjab in their last league game on Sunday. The bowlers, like always, have once again done a commendable job – Harbhajan Singh has bowled exceptionally well in the powerplay while Imran Tahir finished the league stages with 21 wickets from 14 matches. Chennai have made it to the playoffs in every season they have played in.
Delhi (18 points): Delhi had last reached the playoffs seven years ago. They went through a nightmarish season in 2018 – Gautam Gambhir stepped down as captain after a horror start to the campaign and Shreyas Iyer took over. Even as Rishabh Pant continued his red-hot form and both Iyer and Prithvi Shaw played some blazing knocks, it was not enough to salvage their campaign. 2019 was different. With Ricky Ponting as coach and Sourav Ganguly as advisor, Delhi roped in Shikhar Dhawan to partner young Prithvi Shaw at the top. Dhawan picked up momentum as the season progressed and there were some barnstorming knocks from Pant and some matured knocks from Iyer. Kagiso Rabada, who has now returned home, picked 25 wickets from 12 matches while Chris Morris and Ishant Sharma chipped in with crucial strikes to help the team through to the playoffs.
Hyderabad (12 points): Hyderabad, champions in 2016 and runners-up in 2018, became the first team ever to reach the playoffs with only 12 points. The team was served well by David Warner, who currently holds the Orange Cap with 692 runs and Jonny Bairstow, both reporting midway to their national teams for World Cup preparation. In their absence, the batting has been a bit of a concern but Kane Williamson’s spectacular innings was not enough in a defeat to Bangalore in their last league game. They were tied on 12 points with Punjab and Kolkata but had the advantage of a better net run rate. Kolkata had to beat Mumbai to go through to the playoffs but one of their worst batting performances of the season saw them crash to a 9-wicket loss. Kolkata’s pain was Hyderabad’s gain as they moved to the playoffs to take on Delhi in the Eliminator in Vizag on May 8th.
Last year, the total prize money stood somewhere in the region of ₹ 35 crores. The winner of the trophy, Chennai, bagged a massive ₹ 20 crores.
Runner ups, Hyderabad were handed ₹ 12.5 crores with the remainder going to the second and third runner ups. Although there is no word on the prize money in 2019, it is expected to rise over the figure of ₹ 45 crores.
Before the start of the playoffs, CricketCountry chose their best 11 (captained by MSD) of the league stage. Do you agree?
1. DAVID WARNER (M 12 I 12 NO 2 Runs 692 HS 100* Avg 69.20 SR 143.86 100 1 50 8)
2. SHIKHAR DHAWAN (M 14 I 14 NO 1 Runs 486 HS 97* Avg 37.38 SR 137.28 50 5)
3. SHREYAS IYER (M 14 I 14 NO 1 Runs 442 HS 67 Avg 34 SR 123.46 50 3)
4. ANDRE RUSSELL (M 14 I 13 NO 4 Runs 510 HS 80* Avg 56.66 SR 204.81 50s 4 Wkts 11 BB 2/21)
5. MS DHONI (Capt/wk) (M 12 I 9 NO 6 Runs 368 HS 84* Avg 122.66 SR 139.92 50 50 3)
6. HARDIK PANDYA (M 14 I 13 NO 5 Runs 373 HS 91 Avg 46.62 SR 197.35 50 1 Wkts 14 BB 3/20)
7. SHREYAS GOPAL (M 14 Overs 48 Runs 347 Wkts 20 BB 3/12 Avg 17.35 Econ 7.22 SR 14.4)
8. DEEPAK CHAHAR (M 14 Overs 53 Runs 398 Wkts 16 BB 3/20 Avg 24.87 Econ 7.50 SR 19.8)
9. KAGISO RABADA (M 12 Overs 47 Runs 368 Wkts 25 BB 4/21 Avg 14.72 Econ 7.82 SR 11.2)
10. JASPRIT BUMRAH (M 14 Overs 53.4 Runs 364 Wkts 17 BB 3/20 Avg 21.41 Econ 6.78 SR 18.9)
11. IMRAN TAHIR (M 14 Overs 53.2 Runs 347 Wkts 21 BB 4/12 Avg 16.52 Econ 6.50 SR 15.2)
Mumbai: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Suryakumar Yadav, Yuvraj Singh, Anmolpreet Singh, Siddhesh Lad, Evin Lewis, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Pankaj Jaiswal, Ben Cutting, Ishan Kishan, Aditya Tare, Quinton de Kock, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jason Behrendorff, Barinder Sran, Rasikh Salam, Jayant Yadav, Beuran Hendricks
Chennai: Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu, Dhruv Shorey, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Scott Kuggeleijn, Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner, Monu Kumar, MS Dhoni (Captain), Sam Billings, N Jagadeesan, Harbhajan Singh, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Mohit Sharma, KM Asif
Delhi: Shreyas Iyer (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Colin Ingram, Manjot Kalra, Hanuma Vihari, Colin Munro, Sherfane Rutherford, Jalaj Saxena, Axar Patel, Chris Morris, Keemo Paul, Rishabh Pant, Ankush Bains, Harshal Patel, Amit Mishra, Rahul Tewatia, Sandeep Lamichhane, Trent Boult, Avesh Khan, Ishant Sharma, Nathu Singh, Bandaru Ayyappa, Jagadeesha Suchith
Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (Captain), Manish Pandey, Ricky Bhui, Martin Guptill, Deepak Hooda, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Abhishek Sharma, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Shreevats Goswami, Wriddhiman Saha, Rashid Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Bhuvneshwar Kumar,
Siddarth Kaul, Basil Thampi, Sandeep Sharma, Billy Stanlake, K Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan
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