It takes top two to Tango

This is the sixth time when the top two-ranked teams in the group stage will lock horns in the summit clash.

After weeks of intense action, group topper Sunrisers Hyderabad takes on second-placed Chennai Super Kings in the final of the Indian Premier League in Mumbai on Sunday.   -  AFP

After weeks of intense action, group topper Sunrisers Hyderabad takes on second-placed Chennai Super Kings in the final of the Indian Premier League in Mumbai on Sunday.

This, however, is the sixth time when the top two-ranked teams in the group stage will lock horns in the summit clash.

Sportstar takes a look at how things panned out in the last one decade…

2008

Led by Shane Warne, Rajasthan Royals topped the group stage with 22 points, followed by Kings XI Punjab on 20. Chennai Super Kings finished third with 16 points, one ahead of Delhi Daredevils. In the knockouts, Rajasthan Royals faced Delhi Daredevils and won the game by 105 runs. In the other semifinal, Chennai Super Kings defeated Kings XI Punjab by nine wickets to reach the final. In the summit clash, Royals had the last laugh.

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2009

The second edition of the tournament too maintained a similar format, where the table topper in the group stage would take on the No. 4 ranked side, while the second took on the third. Delhi Daredevils topped the board with 20 points, followed by Chennai Super Kings on 17. Royal Challengers Bangalore was on 16 and Deccan Chargers on 14. In the first semifinal, Delhi Daredevils was defeated by Deccan Chargers, while Bangalore crushed Chennai Super Kings by six wickets. In the final, Deccan Chargers defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore.

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2010

In this edition, there was also a match for the third spot. However, the knockout format was retained. Mumbai Indians topped the points table with 20, followed by Deccan Chargers on 16. Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings were tied on 14 points, but Chennai was placed third because of its higher net run rate. In the first semifinal, Mumbai Indians defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore, while Chennai Super Kings defeated Deccan Chargers. In the third spot game between Deccan Chargers and Bangalore, the latter had the last laugh.

However, in the final between MI and CSK, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side defeated MI by 22 runs to clinch its first-ever IPL title.

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2011

The knock-out format changed, making way for eliminators and qualifiers. The top four teams now had to battle past the playoffs before making it to the final. According to the new rule, the top-ranked team in the league would play the second-ranked team in Qualifier 1. The winner of the Qualifier 1 would straightaway reach the final, whereas the losing side will face the winner of the eliminator (played between teams ranked third and fourth). The two teams would then feature in Qualifier 2. The winner of the second qualifier had to face the winner of  Qualifier 1 in the final.

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So, Royal Challengers Bangalore, which topped the table with 19 points, had to play second-placed Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 1. Third-ranked Mumbai Indians played fourth-ranked Kolkata Knight Riders in the eliminator. While Chennai defeated RCB to reach the final, Mumbai Indians defeated KKR in the eliminator to square off against RCB in Qualifier 2. MI was beaten by RCB, which stormed into the final to play CSK. In the summit clash, Dhoni’s CSK bagged the title.

READ: The making of Mayank Markande

2012

Delhi Daredevils topped the points table in the group stage, followed by Kolkata Knight Riders. This meant the two locked horns in Qualifier 1 on May 22 at the MCA Stadium in Pune. KKR defeated Daredevils by 18 to reach the final. In the eliminator, third-placed Mumbai Indians played Chennai Super Kings—a clash that was won by CSK. In Qualifier 2, CSK defeated Daredevils to square off against KKR in the final. At the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on May 27, Knight Riders defeated CSK to win its first-ever IPL title.

READ: Prasidh Krishna: From nets to the knockouts!

2013

Chennai Super Kings topped the league stage with 22 points, followed by Mumbai Indians, and played each other in the first Qualifier. Chennai won the game by 48 runs. In the eliminator between Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad—third and fourth in the group stage—Royals had the last laugh and faced Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 2. Mumbai, however, defeated Royals to face CSK in the final. In the summit clash, Mumbai won its first title.

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2014

Kings XI Punjab topped the group league with 22 points, followed by Kolkata Knight Riders on 18. The two sides faced off in Qualifier 1, which was won by Kolkata to reach the final. In the Eliminator, the clash was between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians—which was clinched by CSK. In the eliminator, Kings XI defeated CSK to reach the final. KKR, however, defeated the Punjab outfit in the final.

2015

Chennai Super Kings topped the table and squared off against the second-placed Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 1. Mumbai defeated CSK by 25 runs to reach the final. The Eliminator between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore saw RCB winning the tie. In Qualifier 2, RCB was defeated by CSK to reach the final. In the summit clash, Mumbai Indians defeated CSK.

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2016

This edition saw the inclusion of two new teams—Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiant. Gujarat topped the league table to square off against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Qualifier 1. The game was won by RCB, which reached the final. The eliminator saw Sunrisers take on Knight Riders—a clash won by SRH. In Qualifier 2, Gujarat Lions was defeated by SRH. In the summit clash too, the Hyderabad side had the last laugh.

2017

Mumbai Indians topped the table, followed by Rising Pune Supergiant. The two sides played Qualifier 1, which was won by Pune. In the eliminator, Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Sunriers to play Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 2. Knights, however, lost the qualifier. In the final, Mumbai clinched a thriller against Pune.