The much-awaited 12th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) finally got underway at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday (March 23). Defending champions Chennai Super Kings locked horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first match of the cash-rich event, with the former securing a resounding seven-wicket victory.
CSK skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and opted to bowl first. Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh proved his captain right by denting the RCB top-order in quick succession. The Turbanator removed Virat Kohli (6), Moeen Ali (9) and AB de Villiers (9) to reduce RCB to 38/3. On his IPL debut, Windies hard-hitter Shimron Hetmyer got run-out for duck while Proteas leg-spinner Imran Tahir demolished the lower-order.
Tahir dismissed Shivam Dube (2), Navdeep Saini (2) and Yuzvendra Chahal (4) as RCB found themselves reeling at 59 for 8. Although Parthiv Patel (29) waged the lone battle and was the only double-digit scorer for his team, it was never going to be enough for RCB. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja chipped in with a couple of scalps while Dwayne Bravo took the last wicket as the visitors eventually got bundled out for a paltry 70 in 17.1 overs.
In reply, CSK started cautiously and lost Shane Watson in the third over for zero. But Ambati Rayudu and Suresh Raina added 32 runs for the second wicket to get the innings back on track. After Moeen Ali removed Raina for 19, Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav stitched 19 runs before the former was bowled by Siraj for 28. Jadhav (13) along with Jadeja (6) then completed the formalities and helped the hosts reach the target with 14 balls to spare
Twitter experts were impressed to see way defending champions dominated the tournament opener from the outset, while they were critical of RCB’s appalling batting performance.
Here are some of the reactions: