Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) is the first team to have its playoff hopes dashed in the 2017 edition of the IPL after another defeat on Tuesday morning.
Mumbai Indians condemned RCB's star-studded outfit to a demoralising eighth loss from 11 games, demoting it to second-from-bottom on the eight-team table. Only one other franchise, Delhi Daredevils, has as few wins as Bangalore (two) but it has played three fewer matches.
Captained by Indian skipper Virat Kohli and boasting international matchwinners like AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle and Shane Watson, Bangalore has been a sorry shadow of the team that made it to last year's final, which it lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad.
It's been an embarrassing fall from grace for a side predicted to seriously challenge for the silverware in 2017, but the millions of dollars poured into player's bank accounts have all been for nothing. RCB's international players can all fly home once the regular season concludes (after 14 matches) because finals action is already out of the question.
At the IPL auction in February, Bangalore splashed out $2.3 million on virtually unknown English quick Tymal Mills to replace injured Aussie left-armer Mitchell Starc. Starc's ability with the white ball is unmatched by any other fast bowler in the world, so Mills was always up against it and while he's been solid, he hasn't justified his expensive price tag.
In five matches he's picked up just the five wickets at an economy rate of 8.57. It's acceptable, but you need better from a man you've paid more than $2 million for.
Then there are the other superstars. Kohli and de Villiers are two of the top batsmen in the world in any format, and they've underperformed. The South African gun has been hampered by injuries and while his unbeaten 89 against Kings XI Punjab in his opening game of the tournament was something special, an overall tally of 196 runs in seven innings isn't what the franchise needed from him this year.
Kohli has been better, but he was always going to battle to reach the incredible heights he hit last year. He scored nearly 1000 runs at an average of over 80 in 16 games in 2016 after plundering 505 runs at 45.9 in 2015. After seven innings this year he has 239 runs while averaging 34.14 with three half centuries, but he's lacked adequate support.
West Indian master blaster Chris Gayle has been a massive disappointment for RCB, notching just one fifty in six appearances. He's registered three single-digit scores and has just 152 runs for the season.
Former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has had a horror run. Sixty-four runs in six games to go with just three wickets at an economy rate of 9.87 runs-per-over have made the 2017 IPL a tournament to forget for the 35-year-old.
Those five players are among the 16 top-highest paid players in the IPL in 2017, making Bangalore's failure even more disastrous. Combined, the Challengers have paid nearly $11 million for their services, and while the likes of Kohli and de Villiers ensured a positive return for Bangalore's investment last season, this year has been a different story.
Kohli - $2.99m
Mills - $2.3m
De Villiers - $1.97m
Watson - $1.96m
Gayle - $1.54m
Next year every player in the IPL will be put back into the auction and teams will be able to bid for whoever they want.
Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders sit atop the ladder with eight and seven wins from 10 games respectively.