IPL 2020: 3 best opening matches in IPL history
- With IPL 2020 all set to kick off on 29th March, we take a look at the top 3 opening matches in IPL history.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) is renowned as one of the most competitive T20 leagues around the globe. With some of the world’s best players featuring in the IPL, the lucrative league sets some very high standards in terms of the action that tends to unfold through the course of any single edition.
The opening match is the most anticipated game before the beginning of any season. The opening game for the 2020 season is set to begin on 29th March and finals will be played at Mumbai on 24th May. Over the years, IPL has witnessed some intense last-ball thrillers at the start of the season. Such opening fixtures set the tone for the rest of the tournament:
Here, we take a look at 3 best opening games in IPL history:
#3 IPL 2010 – Kolkata Knight Riders vs Deccan Chargers
In the opening encounter in the third season of the league, the IPL 2009 winners Deccan Chargers were up against Kolkata Knight Riders to kickstart the new season. It was a match-up between two teams that witnessed contrasting fortunes in the previous season.
Batting first, Kolkata Knight Riders managed to score 161 runs, courtesy Angelo Mathews and Owais Shah’s late hitting in the death overs. However, Deccan Chargers were on par with the chase but a flurry of wickets in the middle-order derailed their chase in the 2nd innings.
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Chargers could only manage to score 150 in their 20 overs and lost the season opener by 11 runs. It was a heart-breaking loss for DC as they were in control for a majority of their chase. It was a great start for KKR, especially after a dismal performance in the last two editions of the tournament.
#2 IPL 2011 – Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders
The defending champions Chennai Super Kings hosted Kolkata Knight Riders in the first match of the season in IPL 2011 at Chennai. It was an amazing contest between bat and ball as the game went down to the wire with KKR requiring four off the last delivery.
However, it was the home team that emerged winners to kickstart their IPL campaign with a victory on their home turf. On a slow wicket, CSK posted a par-score of 153 in their 20 overs. In response, the target looked well within reach for the visitors but the nature of wickets made it difficult for them to play their shots. Tim Southee showed his experience and delivered for CSK by defending nine runs in the final over.
Srikkanth Anirudha was awarded the Man of the Match for playing a crucial 64-run knock for CSK in the opening fixture.
#1 IPL 2018 – Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings
It was a clash of the rivals in the season opener of the IPL 2018. Mumbai Indians were hosting Chennai Super Kings, who were making a return to the IPL fold after a gap of two years.
The much-anticipated battle didn’t disappoint the spectators as a humdinger of a clash welcomed the new season. Batting first, the home team scored 165 runs in what was reckoned to be below par on a ground which has had a history of being a good batting pitch.
However, the MI bowlers were clinical from the start as they didn’t allow CSK to breathe easy at any moment in the match. At one stage, the visitors were down to 75/5 in pursuit of 166. But DJ Bravo played an innings of a lifetime that saw CSK over the line in an intense chase.
CSK won the game by 1 wicket as Kedhar Jadhav paddled Mustafizur Rahman for a six and then a four to seal the game on the penultimate delivery of the match. This was just the beginning of the season as CSK went onto successful lift the title in IPL 2018.Published 29 Jan 2020, 10:06 IST