The 2009 IPL was an extraordinary tournament in many ways. The last-minute shift to the venue came with its own difficulties; it was an Indian league which was being played in South Africa. There was the challenge of capturing the interest of the locals, but also an opportunity to popularize the league beyond Indian markets.
There was also the question of getting the players familiarized with alien conditions. Since players from Pakistan would not participate in the IPL, some sides had to make adjustments with respect to their personnel.
Delhi Daredevils, Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Deccan Chargers were the top four teams which made it to the knockouts. The last two names were a big surprise because the two sides had failed to make any impression in the inaugural edition.
Let's take a look at how the IPL panned out for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Deccan Chargers
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
RCB had a horrendous IPL in 2008. The Bangalore-based side finished 7th in the league stage and could manage only 4 wins out of 14 matches. This led to a leadership change in the setup with Kevin Pietersen being appointed captain for the 2009 season.
But this wasn't the best of calls to begin with. The captain should be someone who leads the side through the tournament, and Kevin Pietersen was expected to leave mid-way for a Test series against West Indies.
The confusion seeped into the results as the tournament took off. Under KP, they could only win two out of their first six games.
Ultimately, Anil Kumble was appointed captain for the final eight games. The leg-spinner helped the team find its feet in the tournament.
They ended the IPL league stage with eight wins and were placed third on the table. It was a great fightback from RCB.
Their semi-final match against Chennai Super Kings at Johannesburg was a one-sided affair. They won the game by a comfortable margin of 6 wickets and made it to the final.
Deccan Chargers finished last in IPL 2008.
While a lot of questions were raised about their side, the owners backed the core of the original team to deliver. They were led by Adam Gilchrist and had the likes of Andrew Symonds, RP Singh, Herschelle Gibbs and Rohit Sharma in their playing XI.
The team delivered on the expectations of the owners in the initial matches, winning four in a row. RP Singh and Pragyan Ojha did well in the bowling department while Adam Gilchrist and Herschelle Gibbs helped give DC attacking starts.
However, the campaign got tricky in the middle stages of the IPL. The Chargers tumbled as the other sides went up the IPL table.
Somehow, they made their way through to the semis with seven wins in the league stage. The semi-finals saw Deccan Chargers roar back into form against Delhi Daredevils. On the back of Adam Gilchrist's 85 off 35 and Ryan Harris's 3 for 27, they made it to the grand finale.
IPL 2009 Final
The final between the two sides was a highly-charged affair. Royal Challengers Bangalore went into the game as slight favorites, having beaten the Chargers in the two sides' last league game.
RCB put Deccan Chargers in to bat first after winning the toss. It seemed like a perfect call as Kumble made the most of the occasion, returning figures of 4/16. Deccan Chargers were ultimately restricted to 143.
RCB seemed to be on course to become the second team to win the IPL, but RP Singh, Pragyan Ojha and Andrew Symonds picked up wickets at regular intervals and brought Deccan Chargers back into the game.
RCB needed 31 off the last 18 balls, but had only two wickets left in the bag. While RP Singh delivered a stellar 18th over, RCB scored 12 off the next over bowled by Ryan Harris.
It came down to 15 off the final over. RCB, however, could only score eight; they lost the final by six runs.
It was a great win for DC, considering they had finished fourth in the league table. Even RCB would've been proud of the way they fought back after a rough start to the tournament.
The IPL 2009 was a big hit and paved the way for various successful seasons of the Indian Premier League, both at home and abroad.