3 best opening matches in IPL history
It's that time of the year where fans in India divide and support various different teams. While some root for their home city, others cheer for their favorite stars irrespective of which city they represent.
With the fans waiting eagerly for the start of the Indian Premier League, the opening encounter promises to thrill the audiences. Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore have had some incredible encounters between them over the years and one could not have hoped for a better match to start the season.
Likewise, IPL has seen some interesting opening matches over the years. Let's look at the top 3 opening day encounters in the history of the tournament.
#3 CSK Vs KKR, 2011 IPL
Defending Champions Chennai Super Kings took on a new look Kolkata Knight Riders in the opening match of the 2011 season. The captains of both teams; Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir were fresh off their exploits in the 2011 World Cup final. CSK won the toss and chose to bat first.
Srikkanth Anirudha played a responsible innings of 64 as wickets kept tumbling at the other end. With a below-par target of 154, KKR opted to experiment as they opened with Manvinder Bisla and Jacques Kallis.
Introduction of spinners wreaked havoc as KKR completely lost the plot. Gambhir who batted at number six was run-out for one as they slid down from 93-1 to 120-5. Suraj Randiv who had conceded only 16 in his first three overs was asked to bowl the penultimate over. Manoj Tiwary's twin sixes in the over, turned the tide in KKR's favor. However, Randiv pulled one back as he changed the angle to dismiss him.
Tim Southee was entrusted to defend nine runs in the last over. It came down to the last ball with KKR requiring four to win. The New Zealander kept his cool and bowled a perfect yorker to secure a memorable win for CSK.
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#2 KKR Vs RCB, 2008 IPL
People say 'well begun is half done' and the start that Indian Premier League got in its inaugural edition was better than anyone could have imagined. Sourav Ganguly's Kolkata Knight Riders faced off against Rahul Dravid's Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore in 2008.
Cricketing fraternity witnessed some audacious hitting from Brendon McCullum as he smashed boundaries all over the park. He scored 158 off 73 balls in a knock which included 10 fours and 13 sixes. His big hitting was so attractive that greats like Ganguly and Ricky Ponting went unnoticed. Bangalore was set a herculean task of chasing 222 in their first ever game.
They were nowhere in the chase as their batsman lost wickets in the attempt to score big runs. They were eventually bowled out for just 82, losing the match by a whopping 140 runs. Although it was a one-sided affair, it showed the world what the newborn league is capable of.
#1 MI Vs CSK, 2018 IPL
After a two-year hiatus, Chennai Super Kings came back to the IPL in the 2018 season. With almost 10000 people coming down just to watch them practice at the Chepauk, the excitement was palpable. With their first encounter scheduled against arch-rivals Mumbai Indians in the opening match of the season at the Wankhede Stadium, the enthusiasm grew bigger.
CSK had a dream start as they picked up the explosive duo of Evin Lewis & Rohit Sharma within the first four overs. However, healthy contributions from Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, and Krunal Pandya helped Mumbai post 165 runs on board.
Chennai batsmen failed to capitalize on their starts as they were reduced to 84-6. With 47 required off 18 balls, everyone thought they were down and out. But out of nowhere, Dwayne Bravo smashed five sixes in 10 balls to bring them back in the reckoning. A rush of blood saw him lose his wicket in the last ball off the penultimate over.
With nine wickets down, scales once again tilted towards the hosts. An injured Kedar Jadhav walked out to bat on quite literally one leg to keep his team alive in the encounte. Keeping his composure, he played a scoop shot over fine leg to level the scores. He finished off with a cover drive as CSK clinched a victory from the jaws of defeat to script a memorable comeback.
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