Hussey was out in the 16th over when he was caught at deep mid-wicket by Debabrata Das in Sunil Narine’s final over. Hussey innings comprised 11 fours and two sixes.
Kolkata skipper Gautam Gambhir brought his strike bowler Narine in the fifth over. The second ball spun prodigiously but Hussey dropped his wrists at the point of impact and the ball eluded first slip. The proper edge off Hussey, although it went for a four, was a moral victory for Narine. But he squandered that advantage by dishing out a long hop to Hussey the very next ball.
Earlier, Hussey got a move on by smashing Lakshmipathy Balaji for three fours in the third over. An inside- out shot, a cut past vacant slip area and a cover drive off a Balaji’s slower ball gave Chennai the impetus.
Wriddhiman Saha, replaced out-of-form Murali Vijay, opened the innings with Hussey. Saha, in the fourth over, hit Shami Ahmed for couple of fours – over mid-on and past square-leg and then hit a six over long-off. The duo put on 103 in 10.1 overs that gave Chennai’s batting a solid foundation. Saha scored 39 off 23 deliveries in his first game of the season for Chennai.
Suresh Raina started the assault with a six over extra-covers off Narine. Kolkata discovered the rigours of containing the explosive batting line-up. Narine could not contain Chennai on placid track. Off the last ball of the 14th over, McCullum let the ball pass through his legs which went for a boundary. The lapses in the field did not help team’s cause.
Kolkata bowling was not able to form formidable partnerships. The initial foray put them completely under pressure. All-rounder Jacques Kallis conceded 18 off his first over and 14 off his second over. Chennai took on the South African and bolstered their run-rate. Kallis went for 50 off his four overs.
Raina’s cameo of 44 off 25 deliveries and MS Dhoni’s late order surge (18 off 12 deliveries) helped Chennai post 200. That was the first total of 200 in this year’s IPL by Chennai.
Gambhir won the toss and chose to field first on a hot afternoon. Sachithra Senanayake, the mystery spinner, had to miss out the game since because of the venue (because of the protest by Tamil people against Sri Lankan cricketers’ participation). That brought in Brendon McCullum into the playing XI. Kolkata dropped leg-spinner Sarabjit Ladda in favour of Shami Ahmed.
Chennai dropped opener Murali Vijay and brought Saha in the team. Jason Holder made way for left-arm pacer Dirk Nannes.
Brief Scores:Chennai Super Kings 200 for 3 in 20 overs (Michael Hussey 95, Suresh Raina 44, Wriddhiman Saha 39; Rajat Bhatia 1 for 31) vs Kolkata Knight Riders.
(Sarang Bhalerao hails from a family of doctors, but did his engineering. He then dumped a career in IT with Infosys to follow his heart and passion and became a writer with CricketCountry. A voracious reader, Sarang aspires to beat Google with his knowledge of the game! You can follow him on Twitterhere)