IPL 2019: Chennai Super Kings go bang! bang!

The protagonists of CSK’s victory were two veteran warhorses.

Chennai: It was billed a blockbuster. The clash of southern rivals led by superstar captains also had other potential subplots. But all those pre-match excitement fell flat on a turning wicket as Chennai Super Kings thrashed Royal Challengers Bangalore by seven wickets in the IPL-12 opener here at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday.

On match eve, Kohli had conceded that his team were underdogs at CSK’s fortress but the India skipper wouldn’t have expected the contest to be one-way traffic all the way.

RCB’s total — 70 all out in 17.1 overs — was the sixth lowest in the IPL history and it didn’t require much effort from Super Kings to overhaul. Chennai completed the formalities with 14 balls to spare.

The protagonists of CSK’s victory were two veteran warhorses. The 38-year-old Harbhajan Singh (3 for 20) and 39-year-old Imran Tahir (3 for 9) bamboozled Bangalore. And it was RCB’s seventh consecutive defeat at Chepauk since 2009.

As Chennai Super Kings had played just one match at this venue in the last three years, Dhoni was not sure what to expect of the Chepauk wicket. However, his decision to bowl on a slow wicket that offered a considerable amount of turn worked wonders.

The masterstroke was bringing off-spinner Harbhajan inside the powerplay. The skipper not only introduced Harbhajan as early as in the second over, but also let him complete his quota unchanged. Harbhajan’s 150th IPL appearance turned to be truly memorable with a sensational spell.

When the veteran spinner dismissed Virat Kohli (6) the stadium erupted in joy. Kohli pulled a short ball straight to deep midwicket fielder Ravindra Jadeja.

While Moeen Ali’s return catch to Harbhajan was a tame dismissal, AB de Villiers’ wicket was a carbon copy of Kohli’s. In a way, pacer Deepak Chahar’s tidy four-over burst (4-0-17-0) from the other end helped Harbhajan strangulate the visitors.

From a sedate start of 16 for no loss, RCB fell to 38 for 3 and they never really recovered from that blow. Flamboyant West Indian Simron Hetmyer’s much-anticipated IPL debut proved to be a disaster. He dug his own grave when he tried to steal a single only to be stranded midway.

After Harbhajan ran through RCB’s star-studded top-order, Imran Tahir and Ravindra Jadeja took over the mantle. The combination of leg-spin and left-arm spin was even more lethal on the turner. Tahir (3/9) and Jadeja (2/15) bowled unchanged to polish off the tail.

Only opener Parthiv Patel managed to touch the double-digit with a 35-ball 29. He was the last man to be dismissed, by Dwayne Bravo. If not for CSK’s sloppy effort on the field that resulted in a few extra runs, RCB wouldn’t have crossed 60.

Earlier, CSK pulled off a surprise by opting to go in with only three overseas players in Shane Watson, Bravo and Tahir.

Royal Challengers Bangalore:
Virat Kohli c Jadeja b Harbhajan 6, Parthiv Patel c Jadhav b Bravo 29, Moeen Ali c & b Harbhajan 9, AB de Villiers c Jadeja b Harbhajan 9, Shimron Hetmyer run out 0, Shivam Dube c Watson b Tahir 2, C de Grandhomme c Dhoni b Jadeja 4, Navdeep Saini c Watson b Tahir 2, Yuzvendra Chahal c Harbhajan b Tahir 4, Umesh Yadav b Jadeja 1, Mohammed Siraj not out 0 Extras (LB-3, NB-1) 4. Total (all out in 17.1 overs) 70.

FoW: 1-16, 2-28, 3-38, 4-39, 5-45, 6-50, 7-53, 8-59, 9-70.
Bowling: Deepak Chahar 4-0-17-0, Harbhajan Singh 4-0-20-3, Suresh Raina 1-0-6-0, Imran Tahir 4-1-9-3, Ravindra Jadeja 4-1-15-2, Dwayne Bravo 0.1-0-0-1.

Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson b Yuzvendra Chahal 0, Ambati Rayudu b Mohammed Siraj 28, Suresh Raina c Shivam Dube b Moeen Ali 19, Kedar Jadhav not out 13, Ravindra Jadeja not out 6. Extras (NB-1, W-3, LB-1) 5. Total (for 3 wickets in 17.4 overs) 71.
FoW: 1-8, 2-40, 3-59.

Bowling: Yuzvendra Chahal 4-1-6-1, Navdeep Saini 4-0-24-0, Moeen Ali 4-0-19-1, Umesh Yadav 3-0-13-0, Mohammed Siraj 2-1-5-1, Shivam Dube .4-0-3-0.

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