MS Dhoni-led Chennai kicked off their defense at the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) with a seven-wicket win over Virat Kohli-led Bangalore at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Saturday.
After being asked to bat first, Bangalore failed to counter Chennai's bowling attack and were bundled out for 70 runs in 17.1 overs--which is the joint sixth lowest score in the history of the Indian T20 league.
Imran Tahir was the pick of the bowlers for Chennai for his figures of three for nine runs, followed by Harbhajan Singh's three for 20 runs. Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo also bagged two and a wicket, respectively.
In reply, Chennai chased down the target in 17.4 overs. Ambati Rayudu was the highest scorer for Ms Dhoni's side with 28 runs.
Here are the highlights:
# Chennai thrash Bangalore by 7 wickets in 2019 IPL opener!
# Wicket! Rayudu's hopes to bat till the last ball were shattered after he was stumped by Mohammed Siraj in the 15th over. Rayudu departs for 28. Chennai need 12 runs from 34 balls. Chennai 59/3 (14.2 overs)
# Seven runs off the last two overs to Chennai. The MS Dhoni-led side are slowly and steadily moving towards the win as they require just 13 runs from 36 balls remaining. Chennai 58/2 (14 overs)
# Kedar Jadhav is the new batsman in !
# Wicket! Soon after creating history, Raina went for a big shot off Moeen Ali's delivery but ended up giving a comfortable catch to Shivam Dube at long-on. Chennai 42/2 (10 overs).
# Suresh Raina has become the first player to reach 5,000 runs in IPL. He achieved the feat by hitting the fifth delivery of the ninth over from Umesh Yadav to fine leg for a single. Chennai now require just 35 runs required from 11 overs to win the match. Chennai 36/1 (9 overs)
# Nine runs off the last two overs for Chennai, including a boundary. Rayudu (17) has settled at the crease and is looking for support from Raina from another end after MS Dhoni's side lost Watson early. Chennai 23/1 (7 overs)
# Suresh Raina is the new batsman in !
# Wicket! Chahal handed the much-needed wicket to Bangalore by removing opener Watson for a duck. The Australian batsman went for a slog sweep but missed the ball entirely as it rattled the stumps. Chennai 10/1 (3 overs)
# Chahal bowled a maiden first over before Navdeep Saini conceded eight runs to Chennai, including a six to Ambati Rayudu. The Chennai batsman hit the last delivery of the second over above the long-on fence for maximum. Chennai 8/0 (2 overs)
# Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu have walked down the crease to begin Chennai's chase. Yuzvendra Chahal starts the proceedings for Bangalore.
# Kohli's men have posted joint sixth-lowest total in the IPL history.
# Chennai bundle out Bangalore for 70 runs!
# Umesh Yadav is the new batsman in!
# Wicket! Imran Tahir completed a three-wicket haul by removing Chahal for four runs. The South African bowled a googly and Chahal went for the slog sweep, only to hand a good catch to Harbhajan at deep square leg. Bangalore 59/8 (14 overs)
# Yuzvendra Chahal comes to bat for Bangalore!
# Wicket! Imran Tahir strikes again. Dhoni made a leg before wicket appeal against Saini off Tahir's first delivery in the 12th over and the review showed that the Bangalore batsman got an inside edge off the bat and Watson grabbed the catch behind the wicket. Saine departed for two runs. Bangalore 55/7 (12 overs)
# Navdeep Saini comes to bat for Bangalore!
# Wicket! Bangalore look in deep trouble as they have lost three other wickets in quick successions. Harbhajan first completed his four-wicket haul by removing Hetmyer for a duck before Shivam Dube (2) smashed a length ball around off from Imran Tahir on the off side to hand an easy catch to Shane Watson. Colin de Grandhomme was then caught by MS Dhoni behind the wicket off Jadeja's delivery in the 11th over. Bangalore 50/6 (10.2 overs)
# Shimron Hetmyer is the new batsman in!
# Wicket! Harbhajan Singh seems to be on a roll today as bagged another big wicket in the form of swashbuckling South Africa batsman AB de Villiers (nine). The Bangalore batsman attempted to once again sweep the second delivery of the eighth over but got the top edge of the bat to hand another catch to Jadeja. Bangalore 38/3 (7.2 overs)
# AB de Villiers is the new batsman in for Bangalore!
# Wicket! Harbhajan strikes again. Moeen Ali (nine) smashed the second delivery of the sixth over in the air off the end of the bat, only to see Harbhajan take the return catch over his head. Bangalore 28/2 (5.2 overs)
# Moeen Ali is the new batsman in for Bangalore!
# Wicket! Harbhajan gave an early breakthrough to Chennai by bagging a big wicket in the form Kohli (six). The Indian skipper fiercely pulled a little shorter delivery from the spinner but didn't get the distance as all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja made a good catch at deep midwicket. Bangalore 16/1 (3.3 overs)
# Harbhajan proved to be a little expensive for Chennai as he conceded seven runs in the second over before Chahar bowled a beautiful tight third over, giving away just three runs to Kohli's side. Bangalore 15/0 (3 overs)
# Veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh to share the new ball !
# Five runs off the very first over for Bangalore. Kohli got off the mark by flicking the first ball to fine leg for a single, while Parthiv opened his account by cracking an off-drive off Chahar's fifth delivery for four runs. Bangalore 5/0 (1 over)
# Skipper Kohli and Parthiv Patel have walked down the crease to begin Bangalore's innings. Deepak Chahar to start the proceedings for Chennai.
# Meanwhile, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) administering the BCCI decided to cancel the opening ceremony and allocated the estimated cost of hosting the same i.e Rs 20 crore to the Armed forces in the wake of the Pulwama attack.
Bangalore Playing XI: Virat Kohli (capt), Parthiv Patel (wk), Moeen Ali, Shimron Hetmyer, AB de Villiers, Shivam Dube, Colin de Grandhomme, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammad Siraj, Navdeep Saini
Chennai Playing XI: Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni* (capt, wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir
# Chennai win the toss, opt to bowl first!
# The toss is all set to take place in a few minutes.
# The opening match of the 2019 IPL is all set to kickstart!
Veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai team will look to begin their title defense at the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) on a winning note when they lock horns with Virat Kohli-led Team Bangalore in the opening match of the tournament at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday.
While Chennai feature most of the experienced players in its squad in the form of 37-year-olds Dhoni and Shane Watson, 35-year-old Dwayne Bravo, 34-year-old Faf du Plessis, 33-year-olds Ambati Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav, 39-year-old Imran Tahir and 38-year-old Harbhajan Singh, Bangalore consist of most of the young players in the squad.
Notably, Chennai are one of the most consistent teams in the IPL history, having always finished in the top four besides also picking up the title three times.
Team Bangalore, on the other hand, has failed to lift the trophy even once despite having some of the best players in its squad.
Going into the match, Chennai would have an edge over Kohli's side, considering the fact that Dhoni's team had won each of their last six fixtures against Bangalore.
The opening clash of the IPL is expected to be a high-octane clash with two big guns of Indian cricket going head-to-head.
The two squads are as follows:
Chennai: MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, Sam Billings, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Shorey, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Rituraj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Mohit Sharma, KM Asif, David Willey, Deepak Chahar, N Jagadeesan (wk).
Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), AB de Villiers, Parthiv Patel (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Shivam Dube, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Moeen Ali, Colin de Grandhomme, Pawan Negi, Tim Southee, Akshdeep Nath, Milind Kumar, Devdutt Padikkal, Gurkeerat Singh Maan, Prayas Ray Barman, Kulwant Khejroliya, Navdeep Saini, Himmat Singh.
(With PTI inputs)