The 4th edition of the Indian Premier League started on 8th April 2011. The tournament had 2 new participants in Pune Warriors India and Kochi Tuskers Kerala. With the introduction of 2 new teams, a new ten team format was created as retaining the previous format would have increased the length of the tournament. The knockout stage was changed to a playoff format.
The ten teams are divided into two groups of five. In the group stage, each team plays 14 games: facing the other four teams in their group two times each (one home and one away game), four teams in the other group once, and the remaining team two times. A random draw was used to determine the groups and who plays whom across the groups once and twice.
|Group A||Group B|
|Deccan Chargers||Kolkata Knight Riders|
|Delhi Daredevils||Kochi Tuskers Kerala|
|Kings XI Punjab||Royal Challengers Bangalore|
|Mumbai Indians||Rajasthan Royals|
|Pune Warriors India||Chennai Super Kings|
A four-game playoff stage following the Page playoff system is held after the group stage. Four games will be played in the playoffs:
• Qualifier 1: between the teams ranked first and second in the group stage.
• Eliminator: between the teams ranked third and fourth in the group stage.
• Qualifier 2: between the loser of the Qualifier 1 and winner of the Eliminator.
• Final: between the winners of the Qualifiers 1 and 2.
The first match of the tournament was held between the defending champions Chennai Super Kings and the Kolkata Knight Riders. The match went down to the wire as the Chennai Super Kings won the game by 2 runs.
The points table was pretty similar to that of the last year except for the inclusion of the Kolkata Knight Riders in place of the Deccan Chargers. Royal Challengers Bangalore finished at the top of the table winning 9 out of 14 matches. The Chennai Super Kings continued with their good form as for they made it to the top 4 for the fourth time. They finished second in the points table winning 9 out of 14 matches. The Mumbai Indians also continued their good form finishing third in the points table winning 9 out of 14 matches. The Kolkata Knight Riders made it to the top 4 for the first time in the IPL finishing fourth in the points table winning 8 out of 14 matches. Kings XI Punjab finished fifth in the points table winning 6 out of 14 matches. Rajasthan Royals finished sixth in the points table winning 6 out of 14 matches. Deccan Chargers finished seventh in the points table winning 6 out of 14 matches. The new entrant Kochi Tuskers Kerala finished eighth in the points table winning 6 out of 14 matches. Pune Warriors India finished ninth in the points table winning 4 out of 14 matches. Delhi Daredevils finished at the bottom of the table winning 4 out of 14 matches.
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||B||14||9||4||1||19||+0.326|
|Chennai Super Kings||B||14||9||5||0||18||+0.443|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||B||14||8||6||0||16||+0.433|
|Kings XI Punjab||A||14||7||7||0||14||−0.051|
|Kochi Tuskers Kerala||B||14||6||8||0||12||−0.214|
|Pune Warriors India||A||14||4||9||1||9||−0.134|
The first qualifier was held on 24th may at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Chennai Super Kings. RCB posted a good score of 175 batting first but it was Suresh Raina’s day as he took the RCB bowlers to the cleaners as CSK won the match by 6 wickets. The eliminator was also held at the same venue the next day between the Mumbai Indians and the Kolkata Knight Riders. The Mumbai Indians won the match by 4 wickets. The second qualifier was held at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Batting first RCB got to a very good total of 185 after Chris Gayle played an entertaining knock of 89 from 47 balls. The Mumbai Indians fell short by 43 runs and the Royal Challengers Bangalore made it to the finals. The final was also held at the same venue the very next day. Batting first the Chennai Super Kings made a huge total of 205 and it would take some really special stuff from Chris Gayle for RCB to chase down the total but it went exactly the opposite way as Chris Gayle was dismissed very early and the Royal Challengers Bangalore never got their chase back on track as they lost the match by 58 runs and which meant that the Chennai Super Kings became the first team to defend the title.