The India-leg of IPL began with rain in Ranchi. It wasn’t known until 9 PM as to when the game would begin. Finally, it was announced that the 17-over per side match would get underway at 9.40 PM. The other restrictions were; a) the 5-over power-play and; b) only 2 bowlers allowed to bowl 4 overs. Chennai had won the toss and chosen the batting option. No one could have been credited with better knowledge of ground conditions than local boy MS Dhoni. CSK batted forcefully and all their batsmen did well in mounting a very competitive 148/3 and then spun out the cream of KKR batsmen for 114, out of which 92 came from 3 sources. Robin Uthappa, who got promoted to open the innings scored 47, Yusuf Pathan broke the jinx to make 41 and 4 runs were extras. The remaining KKR batsmen could contribute just 22 runs.

cskWith the umpires walking out after the drizzle, CSK’s familiar openers also came out. KKR began their attack with Shakib Al Hasan. Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum began striking the ball straightaway. 9 runs came off the first over from Shakib but Sunil Narine restricted the second over score to just 5. The second ball of Shakib’s 2nd over was lifted by Smith over long-off for a huge six but the bowler trapped Smith plumb in front, when he tried to sweep the third ball and missed the line completely. Unperturbed, CSK carried on with McCullum and Suresh Raina until the score reached 90. Then Shakib struck again. He drew Raina out of his crease for an aerial shot but Raina didn’t have the space to swing his arm. The adventurous shot landed in the hands of Suryakumar Yadav at long-on. In any case, Raina had done well in scoring 31 off 25 balls with 4 fours and a six. Dhoni promoted himself up the order and joined McCullum. The two batsmen added 29 runs, before McCullum got out to a completely avoidable slash to an away going Andre Russel delivery, which was caught by Yusuf Pathan at deep point. Ravindra Jadeja came at the fall of the third wicket and blasted a six on the first ball he faced. Dhoni and Jadeja had a 29-ball partnership and CSK ended their innings at 148/3.

KKR did a sensible thing by promoting Robin Uthappa to open the innings with Gautam Gambhir. In the last match Uthappa came at no. 7 in the 19th over and fell for the first-ball duck. Yesterday Uthappa was tentative to begin with but in the second over of the innings from Ishwar Pandey, he struck the bowler for two boundaries. In the third over of the innings from Hilfenhaus, Uthappa got an inside edge and the two batsmen attempted a single, where none existed. Gambhir needlessly sacrificed his wicket to an eminently avoidable run-out. KKR has been committing such tactical errors in this season’s IPL and such lapses have already cost them dearly. Jacques Kallis, Manish Pandey and Shakib Al Hasan looked listless against the CSK attack and were out to rank poor strokes. Kallis swept a ball, which was directed way down the leg side and certainly qualifies for a wide but Kallis’s bat connected to it and the ball rose high in the air for an easy catch. Manish Pandey lasted just 2 balls and fell for 1 run as Jadeja’s first victim. Shakib al Hasan was to go next for the first-ball duck and Jadeja was on a hat-trick. Uthappa denied him that and continued scoring, even as wickets kept tumbling at the other end. Suryakumar Yadav and Uthappa added 27 runs, before Yadav was also consumed by Jadeja. At this point, Jadeja’s figure had a dreamlike look of 2-0-3-3. For KKR, there was some reprieve, as Yusuf Pathan struck form in this game. Uthappa fell as the sixth wicket to an unwanted reverse-sweep at 88 for a creditable 47 off 38 balls. But Pathan carried on in the same way as Uthappa had been doing earlier. He kept striking the ball even as he watched other KKR batsmen falling like nine pins on the other end. In the 16th over from Hilfenhaus, Pathan struck 3 sixes but KKR still required an impossible 40 runs from the last 6 balls from Mohit Sharma. Sharma bowled a brilliant last over and instead of yielding any runs, he took 2 wickets, including that of Pathan, whose 41 were scored off 29 balls with 1 four and 4 cleanly hit sixes. CSK were worthy winners as KKR surrendered without a fight. Spin won the day for CSK on Friday as man-of-the-match Ravindra Jadeja ran away with 4/12 and Ravichandran Ashwin 1/21.