How DC Fared in IPLs As They Make It to Their 1st Final in 13 Yrs

The perennial underperformers of the IPL, Delhi, have made their first final ever after beating SRH in Qualifier 2.

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IPL
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Delhi Capitals during a photo session in the mid-innings break in Qualifier 2 on Sunday
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Delhi Capitals (DC) have finally made it to the finals of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the first time ever in 13 years. DC was the only side of the original eight teams to not have made it to the finals yet.

The perennial underperformers of the league have entered the top 4 only five times in 13 years. Before 2019, they hadn’t even won a single knockout game. However, this time, after getting beaten pretty comfortably by the Mumbai Indians (MI) in Qualifier 1, DC made a much-needed comeback in Qualifier 2.

They beat the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) owing to a strong performance in all three departments, and now they will meet MI again, in the final, for the fourth time this season.

However, it hasn’t been a smooth journey for the Capitals this season, they have had their share of ebbs and flows. After looking like a million dollars in the first nine games, out of which they won seven, DC lost their form, and their campaign got derailed afterwards. They lost 4 games in a row and were staring at elimination after staying on top of the points table for the majority of the first half.

But a spirited performance against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their last league game ensured that they sealed a top-two spot, which eventually came to their rescue. Would this be the first title for the Capitals, or will Mumbai go on to win their fifth title?

Here we look at how the Delhi franchise (Daredevils/Capitals) has fared and finished in the previous 12 seasons of the IPL:

2008 (Season 1): Finished 4th

Delhi Daredevils finished 4th in the first season of the IPL and lost in the semi-finals
Delhi Daredevils finished 4th in the first season of the IPL and lost in the semi-finals
(Photo: BCCI/IPL)

Delhi Daredevils (DD) finished fourth on the ladder in the inaugural season of the IPL. With 7 wins in 14 games and a no-result, they qualified for the semi-finals with 15 points.

Delhi had an enviable squad in that season with the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, AB de Villiers, Glenn McGrath, Mohammad Asif, Amit Mishra, Shikhar Dhawan. But they couldn’t proceed further as a Shane Watson show in the semi-final for the eventual champions Rajasthan Royals meant that Delhi was shot out for a paltry 87 chasing 193.

But, the campaign showed glimpses of a champion team, if they played to their potential, which did happen in 2009.

2009 (Season 2): Finished 1st, Lost in Semi-finals

Delhi Daredevils finished at the top of the points table but an Adam Gilchrist assault knocked them out of the tournament.
Delhi Daredevils finished at the top of the points table but an Adam Gilchrist assault knocked them out of the tournament.
(Photo: BCCI/IPL)

This campaign for DD was a classic case of what could have been. Delhi was the strongest side in the league phase, as they finished on the top of the points table with 10 wins in 14 games. With additions of the likes of David Warner and Daniel Vettori strengthened the Delhi line-up and aided the overall balance of the team after the exit of Pakistani players.

However, they got hit by the Adam Gilchrist bus in the semi-final and was enough to knock them out. As the traditional knockout system was followed then, 1 played 4 and 2 played 3. Delhi had Deccan Chargers as their opponent in the semi-final.

Batting first, DD got 153 in their 20 overs, which was considered a competitive total at that time. However, they didn’t know what was going to transpire in the next two hours. Deccan Chargers skipper Adam Gilchrist went mad as he smashed every Delhi bowler to score 85 (35). Chargers won the game in 17.4 overs and knocked Delhi out.

2010 (Season 3): Finished 5th

Delhi Daredevils had 7 wins in 14 games, but lost out to a place in the Top 4 due to a lesser net run rate.
Delhi Daredevils had 7 wins in 14 games, but lost out to a place in the Top 4 due to a lesser net run rate.
(Photo: BCCI/IPL)

Earlier, winning the games was the main priority for every team in the IPL. But the focus started shifting to the margin of victories as well, since the 2009 season, as it came to haunt the Delhi side in the 2010 season.

With the same number of wins as that of the RCB, i.e., seven, Delhi lost out on the top four spot, owing to a lesser net run rate (NRR). With as many losses in 14 games, Delhi had an inconsistent run in their 2010 campaign, but they had the team to make it to the final four.

With NRR coming into play, it meant that RCB (+0.219) qualified at the number four position over Delhi (+0.021), who must have rued the two big losses of 98 runs and 37 runs, both to the Mumbai Indians.

2011 (Season 4): Finished Last (10th)

Delhi Daredevils finished last on the points table in the 2011 season.
Delhi Daredevils finished last on the points table in the 2011 season.
(Photo: BCCI/IPL)

Post the mega auction, it takes time for the teams to figure out their best combinations, and choose the players who can deliver in crucial games under greater pressure. 2011 was one for the Delhi side, as it took a whole season for them to figure out their settled Playing XI because they ended up with just four wins in the whole tournament.

After the departure of big players, including Dilshan, De Villiers, Vettori and Gambhir, Delhi was found wanting throughout their campaign in that season. Since two more teams were added in that season (Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Pune Warriors India), Delhi finished at the 10th position with just nine points in 14 games.

2012 (Season 5): Finished 1st, Lost in Playoffs

Delhi Daredevils finished at the top of the points table but lost both their games in the Playoffs to get eliminated.
Delhi Daredevils finished at the top of the points table but lost both their games in the Playoffs to get eliminated.
(Photo: BCCI/IPL)

This was a turnaround and a half from the Delhi side after a poor 2011 season. With Virender Sehwag scoring 495 runs and Morne Morkel getting the Purple Cap with 25 wickets, Delhi, especially on the back of these consistent performances with both bat and ball from these two, won 11 games out of 16 in the league stage.

However, the same could not be said about their performances in the playoffs. The playoffs format, which started in 2011, meant that Delhi and Kolkata (No 2) will get two bites at the cherry if one has a poor outing in the first Qualifier.

And, it looked like Delhi needed more than just one bite as they seemed completely deflated in those two encounters. By the virtue of their 18-run loss to KKR in Qualifier 1 and 86-run loss to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Qualifier 2, Delhi were eliminated from the tournament after playing so well in the league stage.

2013 (season 6): Finished Last (9th)

With just 3 wins in 16 games, Delhi Daredevils finished last on the points table
With just 3 wins in 16 games, Delhi Daredevils finished last on the points table
(Photo: BCCI/IPL)

This was the start of the downward spiral for Delhi in the IPL. With just three wins in the 16 games, this was a poorer season for the Delhi team than the one in 2011.

The constant chopping and changing, the lack of form of top players and poor selection calls meant that losing had become a habit for them, and they needed a whole makeover. Delhi lost 13 games, this was the most number of games that any team had lost in a single season. With that, they also got handed the wooden spoon for the second time in six seasons.

2014 (Season 7): Finished Last (8th)

Delhi Daredevils finished last with just 2 wins in 12 games
Delhi Daredevils finished last with just 2 wins in 12 games
(Photo: BCCI/IPL)

The new look, new captain, new staff and the entirely new squad didn’t help Delhi’s cause one bit in the 2014 season, as something similar to the previous season took place. Delhi lost 12 games out of the 14 they played and finished at the bottom with just four points.

The new setup under Kevin Pietersen couldn’t find its mojo and never looked a side that could compete with the likes of CSK or MI. With that, Delhi also became the first team to hold an unwanted record – finish last in the points table in two consecutive seasons.

2015 (Season 8): Finished 7th

Delhi Daredevils had a much better season but still finished in the bottom half of the points table in IPL 2015
Delhi Daredevils had a much better season but still finished in the bottom half of the points table in IPL 2015
(Photo: BCCI/IPL)

Delhi Daredevils changed their setup again in 2015, now with Zaheer Khan and JP Duminy in-charge of the side. This time, although they had more wins to show for, i.e., 5 out of their 14, they still finished in the bottom half of the points table. They were able to avoid the wooden spoon as Kings XI Punjab finished last with just three wins.

With players like Shreyas Iyer, Amit Mishra, Shami, Imran Tahir, Delhi had formed a good core this time around, giving hopes for better results in the next seasons. As, even in 2015, though they showed their potential and spark, but it still was a young side, barring one or two players, and it lacked the required experience to finish off the games.

2016 (Season 9): Finished 6th

Delhi Daredevils finished at 6th position in the points table with 7 wins in 14 games in IPL 2016.
Delhi Daredevils finished at 6th position in the points table with 7 wins in 14 games in IPL 2016.
(Photo: BCCI/IPL)

Under Zaheer Khan, Delhi saw a resurgence in their fortunes as well as performances. Even though they couldn’t qualify for the playoffs again for the fourth time in a row, the side definitely showed a promise for what was to come.

Since Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) were banned for two years, players like Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Chris Morris joined the Delhi franchise. With Rishabh Pant, Iyer, Samson, Delhi had an exciting young Indian batting line-up. But, their lack of experience came to hurt them in crunch moments, as they remained one win away from a playoff spot. They ended up with 7 wins in 14 games and finished in sixth position.

2017 (Season 10): Finished 6th

Delhi Daredevils finished in 6th position on the points table with 6 wins in 14 games in IPL 2017
Delhi Daredevils finished in 6th position on the points table with 6 wins in 14 games in IPL 2017
(Photo: BCCI/IPL)

A similar script followed for the Delhi team in the next season as well, albeit with one massive change. Having a bowler as a captain means that you stock the team with the best bowlers available. Along with Zaheer himself, Delhi had one of the best pace-attacks in that season with the likes of Pat Cummins, Kagiso Rabada, Mohammed Shami and Chris Morris in the ranks. But, the results still remained a far-cry for them.

With just six wins in eight games, Delhi again finished on the sixth position in the points table and couldn’t qualify for the fifth consecutive year for the playoffs.

2018 (Season 11): Finished Last (8th)

Delhi Daredevils finished at their familiar position, i.e., last with 5 wins in IPL 2018.
Delhi Daredevils finished at their familiar position, i.e., last with 5 wins in IPL 2018.
(Photo: BCCI/IPL)

This was the watershed year for the Delhi franchise in the IPL. Yes, the results may not have been in their favour, but Delhi started to look ahead in that IPL. Ricky Ponting took charge of the side as the head coach. Gautam Gambhir returned to Delhi after playing for seven years for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). However, the return wasn’t that fruitful.

Gambhir in the first six games scored a total of just 85 runs and DD lost five games out of those, winning just one. Gambhir gave up the captaincy in the middle of the tournament, and Shreyas Iyer was appointed Captain. Delhi just won four in the remaining games and finished at their familiar position, i.e., last again, but those eight games gave a hope of settled leadership group for Delhi going forward. And that’s what happened in 2019.

2019 (Season 12): Finished 3rd, Lost in Playoffs

Delhi Capitals finished at 3rd position in the points table and lost in the playoffs
Delhi Capitals finished at 3rd position in the points table and lost in the playoffs
(Photo: BCCI/IPL)

New owners, new look and a new name just proved to be the shot in the arm, which Delhi needed in the IPL. Ponting took the charge in making the team and brought in experienced players like Shikhar Dhawan, Ishant Sharma to the fold. With the top four consisting of all Indian batters, spin all-rounder Axar Patel, bowlers like Mishra, Boult, Rabad and Ishant, the Delhi jigsaw puzzle finally felt right.

With the same number of wins as the top two sides – MI and CSK – Delhi got into the playoffs in third position, owing to a low NRR, and qualified for the top four after seven long years. This meant that they had to go through an ‘Eliminator’.

They beat SRH in the Eliminator, which was also their first win in a knockout game in IPL in 12 years. However, they couldn’t go past CSK in Qualifier 2 and had to bow out. However, 2019 gave hopes of a settled and solid Delhi XI in the IPL, which has never happened before.

With some intelligent buys in the auction and a genius move of getting South African pacer Anrich Nortje as a replacement for Chris Woakes worked so well for the Capitals that they now stand on the brink of their first-ever IPL title. The only hurdle between them and the trophy is the four-time champions MI, who have beaten them thrice already in this season.

Can they win it? All-rounder Marcus Stoinis suggested that their best game will be enough to beat MI on Tuesday, 10 November.

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