Four-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI) entering the Indian Premier League (IPL) final after winning their first playoff game is only the third instance of a team finishing atop in the league phase and entering the title round after winning the Qualifier 1.
Since the playoffs system began in 2011, only Chennai Super Kings (CSK, in 2013) and MI (2019) are teams that have finished on top of the table and won their Qualifier 1 game.
In the other seven instances, teams finishing on top of the table have had to go through Qualifier 2.
Also, MI remain the only team in IPL history to have won the title without losing any of their playoff matches, which they did last year. They are on course of repeating it this year.
Here's a look at what table-toppers have done over the last 10 years since playoffs began in 2011:
2011: Royal Challengers Bangalore finished atop of the table but couldn't qualify for finals from Qualifier 1. They won Qualifier 2, but then lost in the final.
2012: The then Delhi franchise, Delhi Daredevils, finished on top of the table but lost both playoff matches i.e. Qualifier 1 and Qualifier 2.
2013: CSK finished atop on net run rate, went through to the final straightaway after winning Qualifier 1. However, there they lost to MI in the final.
2014: Kings XI Punjab finished on top of the points table but they lost Qualifier 1 and had to go through to the final via Qualifier 2. In the final, they lost to KKR.
2015: CSK finished atop, ahead of MI in second place, but had to go through Qualifier 2 to the final where they lost to MI again like in Qualifier 1.
2016: Gujarat Lions finished atop, but lost both Qualifier 1 and Qualifier 2.
2017: Mumbai Indians finished top, but lost Qualifier 1. So, they entered the final through Q2, and eventually won the title.
2018: SRH finished on top of the points table, by a fraction of net run rate, but lost Qualifier 1, played Qualifier 2 and made the final where they lost to CSK.
2019: Mumbai Indians finished atop, won the Qualifier 1 and then went on to win the final.
2020: Mumbai Indians topped the points table and made it to the final through Qualifier 1. Will they repeat their 2019 feat on November 10?