Thursday, June 27, 2019 | ePaper
Singh leads Chennai demolition of Bangalore in IPL opener
AFP, Chennai :
India's Harbhajan Singh led an inspired spin attack to help Chennai Super Kings open the 2019 Indian Premier League season with a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday.
Singh and South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir claimed three wickets each to dismiss Royal Challengers for a paltry 70, a total the defending champions achieved with 14 balls to spare in Chennai.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who led the Super Kings to their third IPL title after returning from an illegal gambling ban last year, elected to field first in the 12th edition of the world's most popular Twenty20 league. The 38-year-old Singh got Super Kings their first breakthrough after sending back opposition skipper Virat Kohli for six in the fourth over of the innings. Singh ran through the Royal Challengers top-order with his wily off-spin, getting the big wickets of England's Moeen Ali for nine and South African AB de Villiers, also for nine.
West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer was run out for nought and soon the Royal Challengers batting crumbled with spinners Tahir and Ravindra Jadeja, who took two wickets, combining to pack them off in 17.1 overs.
"It was a very good bowling effort by him (Harbhajan) to give us a kind of start that was very well capitalised by the other spinners," Dhoni said after the win. "The wicket definitely needs to be much better, even with dew it was spinning bigâ€¦ other teams have good spinners as well and this isn't the pitch we are looking forward to," Dhoni said of the pitch at Chennai's MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Opener Parthiv Patel top-scored with 29 and remained the only batsman to cross double figures in what was the IPL's sixth lowest total.