The IPL added two new teams – Pune Warriors India (who finished ninth) and Kochi Tuskers Kerala (eighth) – to their roster in 2011. The ten teams were divided into two groups of five teams each. Every team played every other team from the same group twice and from the other group once. This took the number of matches to an absurdly high 74.
Royal Challengers Bangalore signed up Chris Gayle a replacement for Dirk Nannes. Gayle won both the Orange Cap and the MVP for his 608 runs at a strike rate of 183. Teammate Virat Kohli finished second, with 557, while Sreenath Aravind had the third-most wickets.
Unfortunately, even then they were overwhelmed by Chennai Super Kings in both the Qualifier 1 and the final (the four-match format was also introduced this season). MS Dhoni lifted his second IPL trophy less than two months after leading India to their second World Cup title.
One of Chennai's inspired acquisitions this season was Dwayne Bravo, a replacement for Muttiah Muralitharan, who had moved to Kochi. As for Kochi, they failed to pay the bank guarantee and were expelled from IPL after the tournament.
Qualifier 1, Mumbai, May 24: Royal Challengers Bangalore 175/4 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 70*; Doug Bollinger 1/20) lost to Chennai Super Kings 177/4 in 19.4 overs (Suresh Raina 73*; Zaheer Khan 2/31) by 6 wickets. Player of the Match: Suresh Raina.
Eliminator, Mumbai, May 25: Kolkata Knight Riders 147/7 in 20 overs (Ryan ten Doeschate 70*; Munaf Patel 3/27) lost to Mumbai Indians 148/6 in 20 overs (Aiden Blizzard 51; Jacques Kallis 2/18) by 4 wickets. Player of the Match: Munaf Patel.
Qualifier 2, Chennai, May 27: Royal Challengers Bangalore 185/4 in 20 overs (Chris Gayle 89; Munaf Patel 2/27) beat Mumbai Indians 142/8 in 20 overs (Sachin Tendulkar 40; Daniel Vettori 3/19) by 43 runs. Player of the Match: Chris Gayle.
Final, Chennai, May 28: Chennai Super Kings 205/5 in 20 overs (M Vijay 95, Michael Hussey 63; Chris Gayle 2/34) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 147/8 in 20 overs (Saurabh Tiwary 42*; R Ashwin 3/16) by 58 runs. Player of the Match: M Vijay.
Orange Cap: Chris Gayle (Royal Challengers Bangalore) – 608 runs, 12 matches
Purple Cap: Lasith Malinga (Mumbai Indians) – 28 wickets, 16 matches
MVP: Chris Gayle