Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders played the inagural match of IPL 2011. Electing to bat first, CSK scored competitive 153/4 in 20 overs, despite the gnerosity of Knights fielders.
KKR Fielders Haunted by Past Ghosts, Bowlers Shine
S Anirudha opened the CSK inning with dashing CSK opene, Murali Vijay, whose IPL hits have earned him a place in Indian batting line up.
While Anirudha remained the only Chennai batsman to hit a half-century, scoring 64 runs on 55 balls with 6 fours and 2 sixes before being bowled by South African allrounder Kallis in the last over.
Murali Vijay departed only for 4 runs in first over caught by Rajat Bhatia, who earlier used to play for Delhi Daredevils. Suresh Raina joined Anirudha and scored a 29 ball 33 runs, hitting four boundaries. He was sent to pavillion on the bowling of Yusuf Pathan caught by Sarabjeet Ladda.
Dhoni followed and scored a quick 21 ball 29 runs with one four and one six. CSK appeared well set for a good total. But KKR bowlers clipped back in the last five overs and if it was not for late hit by Morkel who made 9 ball 15 runs with one four and one six, they would not have even reached 150.
Meanwhile KKR’s fielders dropped dollies at will. Even Yusuf Pathan dropped two catches. Bowlers like Iqbal Abdulla, Pathan, Balaji, Bhatia maintained a tight line. Kallis was expensive with 34 runs in 3 overs taking 2 wickets. Ladda gave 29 runs in just 3 overs.
The shoddy fielding reminded of KKR’s team of last three editions. Yet, the bowling appears very competitive. KKR strong batting should not find 153 tough to chase even when they are playing at CSK’s home.
Dhoni’s Tricks Let Gambhir’s Men Succumb
Gambhir sent Bisla ahead of him to open the KKR inning with Kallis. The ploy worked as both added 64 runs in 8.5 overs. Jakati struck and Bisla was stumped by Dhoni on 27 runs. Yusuf Pathan came next, and was run out by Dhoni on 11 balls, hitting one six, but taking 12 balls. Manoj Tiwary and Kallis took the score to 112, when Kallis failed to read Ashwin and was out on 54 runs.
Morgan came and scored 6 runs when Raina, the man with golden arm sent him to pavillion in the only over he bowled. Gambhir ran himself out for a single that never existed. Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Manoj Tiwary fought hard to bring the match very close. But, Tiwary committed the same mistake which almost all KKR batsmen did and with his wicket the hopes of KKR dashed.
Selecting the best team did not help KKR. Shahrukh vs Srinivasan provided the 5th win of CSK vs KKR. Dhoni’s captaincy earned him another victory. He contribued with 3 stumpings and the best run out (of Yusuf Pathan) of the match.