Kolkata Knight Riders had revamped their squad in the 2011 auctions. Now, under Gautam Gambhir, their new captain, they lifted their first ever trophy. The triumph went a long way to lift the spirit of Shahrukh Khan, who earned himself a five-year ban from Wankhede Stadium after he was caught smoking on camera. Gambhir himself finished as the second-highest run-scorer of the tournament, behind only Chris Gayle.
Thi was an incredible season for Gayle, who did even better than an already outstanding 2011. With 733 runs at 161, he won the Orange Cap yet again – though Royal Challengers Bangalore did not make it to the top four. He slammed
After trying out Ajantha Mendis in the earlier editions, the Knight Riders found a virtually unknown West Indian mystery spinner called Ajantha Mendis. With 24 wickets at 13.50 at 5.47 an over, Narine played key role in Kolkata's maiden title. Despite finishing a wicket behind Purple Cap winner Morne Morkel, Narine was named MVP of the tournament.
Unfortunately, a sting implicated TP Sudhindra, Shalabh Srivastava, Mohnish Mishra, Amit Yadav, and Abhinav Bali (not a part of IPL) for spot-fixing. They received bans of numerous duration.
Qualifier 1, Pune, May 22: Kolkata Knight Riders 162/4 in 20 overs (Yusuf Pathan 40*; Pawan Negi 1/18) beat Delhi Daredevils 144/8 in 20 overs (Mahela Jayawardene 40; Jacques Kallis 2/24, Sunil Narine 2/24) by 18 runs. Player of the Match: Yusuf Pathan.
Eliminator, Bengaluru, May 23: Chennai Super Kings 187/5 in 20 overs (MS Dhoni 51*; Dhawal Kulkarni 3/46) beat Mumbai Indians 149/9 in 20 overs (Dwayne Smith 38; Dwayne Bravo 2/10) by 38 runs. Player of the Match: MS Dhoni.
Qualifier 2, Chennai, May 25: Chennai Super Kings 222/5 in 20 overs (M Vijay 113; Varun Aaron 2/63) beat Delhi Daredevils 136 in 16.5 overs (Mahela Jayawardene 55; R Ashwin 3/23) by 86 runs. Player of the Match: M Vijay.
Final, Chennai, May 27: Chennai Super Kings 190/3 in 20 overs (Suresh Raina 73, Michael Hussey 54; Rajat Bhatia 1/23) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 192/5 in 19.4 overs (Manvinder Bisla 89, Jacques Kallis 69; Ben Hilfenhaus 2/25) by 5 wickets. Player of the Match: Manvinder Bisla.
Orange Cap: Chris Gayle (Royal Challengers Bangalore) – 733 runs, 14 matches
Purple Cap: Morne Morkel (Delhi Daredevils) – 25 wickets, 16 matches
MVP: Sunil Narine