First it rained, delaying the start of the first match of the India leg of IPL-7 and making it a 17-over-a-side affair. Once the match started, it rained runs from the blades of Chennai Super Kings batsmen, particularly from New Zealander Brendon McCullum and in the end from hometown lad Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association stadium in Ranchi on Friday.
CSK posted a healthy 148/3 with McCullum top-scoring with 56 from 50 deliveries with five fours and two sixes. He shared 70 for the second wicket with Suresh Raina, who helped himself to a 25-ball 31 with four fours and a six.
Kolkata Knight Riders, who were involved in a tie in the previous match against Rajasthan Royals and the result was decided on boundary count, will be wary of the fact that CSK scored 19 boundaries (fours and sixes combined) in their innings.
Though CSK lost opener Dwayne Smith early in the third over, trapped leg before wicket by left-arm spinner from Bangladesh, Shakib Al Hasan for a quick 16, they kept their momentum going by the maverick McCullum. After the New Zealander’s departure in the 15th over, Dhoni (22*) and Jadeja (17*) raised 29 in 2.3 overs to take their side to a competitive total.
At the time of going to print, the Knights were 38/3 in 5.1 overs, losing skipper Gautam Gambhir (6), Jacques Kallis (4) and Manish Pandey (1).