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900   //    15 Mar 2010, 15:34 IST


CHENNAI SUPERKINGS: Over the two IPL seasons, Chennai have been the most fearsome outfits, the most persistent team, Dhoni packed in power hitters for the opening match in the form Hayden, Kemp and Morkel. Ravichandran Ashwin got a place alongside Murlidharan.

Adam Gilchrist at the Stumps

Adam Gilchrist at the Stumps

DECCAN CHARGERS: It had been an ominous start for the defending champs, a win here for Gilchrist was a necessity. He named an unchanged team from the last match. Jaskaran Singh would have felt lucky to retain his position in the team.

Deccan Chargers won the toss and elected to bat


Adam Gilchrist had one plan, to lift his team to grand total, and he targeted the UP lad, Sudeep Tyagi for this, He hammered a full length ball outside off stump to produce the first six of the match, the second one followed a ball later in the same region, Gilly milked 19 of the over. Morkel’s third over yield 14 runs courtesy 2 fours and a 6 by Adam Gilchrist making him the first player to break the 1000 runs barrier in IPL. .Dhoni was forced to use his spinners in the power play and they duly obliged.


Murali conceded only 6 of his first over. Ravichandran Ashwin was geared to bowl the 4th over and he fired in the first four balls giving away 2 wides and a boundary, Ashwin bowled the 5th ball slower through the air enticing Gilchrist to come down the track and walaah, ball evaded the blade of the bat crashing into the off stump, a spinners delight, Dhoni’s ploy had worked, The captain of the Chargers back in the hood. The very next ball saw the demise of VVS Laxman courtesy sharp fielding by Suresh Raina. Superkings had recovered the early onset. Balaji and Kemp maintained the pressure created by the spinners, Ashwin in particular stood out through his variable length and diverse balls.


Gibbs and Symonds were bogged down for the majority of the innings but they ensured that their wickets were intact till the time came to accelerate; the early run rate set by Gilchrist gave both the experienced campaigners’ time to negotiate the spinners. but once they got their eye in the shots began to arrive, Symonds blasted Balaji for a six over long off and again his brute force prevailed. Both batsmen were eventually run out playing handy knock of 45 and the end of the 19th over the scorecard read 168/4.Dhoni took chance and gave the ball to tyagi, and was it, Suman and Rohit generated 22 of the final over to take the total to a hefty 190.


There was a lot of talk that Hayden will bring out his mongoose bat, but that was not to be as Chminda Vaas once again opened the bowling with conviction. Adam Gilchrist surprised many by giving the bowl to part timer Rohit Sharma as Hadyen hit him for a mammoth six. Vaas’s second over produced the wicket of Murali Vijay. Raina came in and without taking any time heaved a short pitch delivery toward the mid wicket boundary for a maximum, but Vaas came back strongly as Raina tried to hit the ball hard rather than timing it resulting in a simple catch for Adam Gilchrist, Vaas had got his second. But Still Superkings batting depth meant that the game was not over yet. Hayden hit his second six of the innings of the bowling of R.P. Singh and he was looking dangerous. But it was Chaminda Vaas again coming to the resue, Hayden tried to scoop the ball over short fine leg, but with Vaas’s pace it was a disastrous shot selection, Hayden gone, Chennai were in a spot of bother.

Dhoni and Kemp tried to consolidate the innings as Jaskaran Singh was put to the sword in his very first over, he gave away 3 boundaries and a wide. But Pragyan Ojha and Rohit Sharma exploited the slowness of the Chennai pitch and continuously applied pressure on both Dhoni and Kemp. Kemp got a move on as he danced down the track to hit Ohja for a six, but when Ojha flighted the ball, Kemp was foxed to come out of the crease and a straight forward stumping by Gilchrist.

The superkings never recovered from that blow and when Dhoni was bowled by Symonds, the last nailed in the superkings coffin was in its place, Albie morkel hit a few lusty blows little late in the innings. Superkings finished 31 runs short, a big blow to their IPL campaign.

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