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5 best comebacks by IPL teams to reach the playoffs

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While it is ideal for teams to start off their Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign well and try to get a head start over the other teams jostling for the top 4 spots, the long nature of the tournament means that teams who might be initially lagging behind always have a chance to mount a comeback and reach the playoffs. We have seen, over the years, several IPL teams making a lukewarm beginning to their campaigns but gaining momentum towards the latter half with a strong ending to their season.

Here are 5 best comebacks by IPL teams to reach the playoffs:   

1. Delhi Daredevils – 2008

Delhi Daredevils began the inaugural season of the IPL brightly, winning 4 out of their first 5 matches. With a bowling line-up led by Glenn McGrath and Amit Mishra and batsmen of the ilk of Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, AB de Villiers and Tillakaratne Dilshan, the outfit looked the epitome of balance and efficiency. However, they lost their next 4 games and were suddenly struggling to reach the semis.

Behind Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Mumbai Indians (MI) in the points table, DD managed 3 wins in their last 5 games. A washout with KKR and a victory over MI in the final league game meant they finished the league a solitary point more than Mumbai. Chasing 177 in the final game against Mumbai, Delhi were 89-4 in the 11th over when Dinesh Karthik 56 (32), Manoj Tiwary 36 (29) and Farveez Maharoof 20 (13) guided them home.

2. Deccan Chargers – 2010

The team that now play under the franchise name Sunrisers Hyderabad, the Deccan Chargers began the 2010 season as defending champions. Their campaign see-sawed one way then another, as they lost the opening game of the tournament and then won the next 3. However, by losing 5 consecutive games thereafter, their chances of reaching the semis were highly improbable. 

It was then that they staged a miraculous comeback by winning 5 consecutive league games to finish the table at number 2. Under Adam Gilchrist’s able leadership, the team was looking well coordinated, with trusted warriors RP Singh, Rohit Sharma, Andrew Symonds and Gilchrist himself delivering time and again when it mattered the most. Their win sequence in the final 5 games was against RCB, CSK, RCB, KXIP and DD. It was one of the most sensational comeback scripts, which, however, came to halt in the semis against the Super Kings.

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