Boosted by last season’s performance where they defeated RCB in both their matches, CSK, known to be late bloomers, will be looking to get their campaign underway with a winning start
Boosted by last season’s performance where they defeated RCB in both their matches, CSK, known to be late bloomers, will be looking to get their campaign underway with a winning start

So that’s it for tonight’s coverage, ladies and gentlemen. Join us again tomorrow for the double-header, feature Hyderabad vs Kolkata and three-time champions Mumbai vs Delhi. Promises to be a cracker of the contest! Till then, Goodnight!

11:08PM: So there we have it. Not the kind of game people were expecting but an enjoyable one none the less. From the moment Virat Kohli walked out to bat, he was aware that this was a surface where 120 runs could probably turn out to be a winning total. But post his dismissal, Bangalore simply were never in the game. Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir made the most of a slow, sluggish surface and rolled Bangalore over for 70.

Chennai were jolted early but the rest of the batsmen showed maturity to play the ball on its merit and let the singles dominate. Ambati Rayudu scored 28 and Suresh Raina contributed 19 – going past 5000 Indian T20 League runs. In the end, Kedar Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja saw Chennai through and cap off a memorable win in the tournament opener.

11:03PM: A single, a wide and another single seals it for Chennai. The defending champions begin the tournament with a dominating seven-wicket win against Bangalore. The Yello brigade roars. Bangalore did well to stretch the match till the 18th over but let’s face it, 70 runs were never going to be enough to defend.

10:59PM: With Chennai needed three runs to win, Mohammed Siraj bowls a maiden. Bangalore could have really done with that a while ago. Three overs remain, three runs needed. Will Chennai finish the match in the next over itself?

10:53PM: Strategic time-out taken. Jadhav and Jadeja continue to take singles and rotate strike. Just three more runs needed for Chennai to cap off a memorable beginning to their 2019 Indian T20 League.

10:48PM: WICKET! A strange dismissal of Rayudu there, who dances down the pitch and plays on. Short delivery from Mohammed Siraj but not much pace on it. The ball comes to Rayudu slowly after pitching and the batsman awkwardly tries to almost swat the ball. Chennai 63 for 3.

10:43PM: 14 over finished and Chennai are 58 for 2 (Rayudu 28*, Jadhav 8*). Just another 13 runs needed off 36 balls. How early do you back Chennai to knock off the remaining runs?

10:38PM: Chahal bowles out. He finished with figures of 4-1-6-1. Chennai see off his last over watchfully and remain on course for a win needing another 19 off 42 balls.

10:33PM: Saini starts well with four dot balls but Rayudu produces a stunning cover drive, almost a push actually to get a boundary. Chennai bring up their fifty to reach 51 for 2 in 12 overs, need another 20 off 48 balls.

10:29PM: Short ball and a crunching pull from Kedar Jadhav. That made a wonderful sound even though it resulted in just a boundary. Umesh lands it midway through the pitch and Jadhav was quick to pounce on to it. Swivels across as the ball races to the boundary. Chennai 47 for 2, need another 24 off 54 balls.

10:24pm: OUT! Second wicket down for Chennai. Suresh Raina, beginning to look good, departs for 19. Pulls out a wonderful late cut shot for his third boundary but perishes in the deep off the next ball going for another. Chennai 42/2 after 10 overs. Could this be the wicket that changes things for Bangalore? Not too many runs left to get though. They could have had another as Jadhav almost ran himself out had it not been for a fumble by Chahal. Kohli is not impressed.

10:17PM: Raina tucks the ball away towards fine leg, and with that becomes the first batsman to score 5000 runs in the Indian T20 League. Chennai looking a lot more in control now, reaching 36 for 1 in nine overs and needing another 35 off 66 balls.

10:14pm: Consecutive boundaries for Suresh Raina breaks the shackles for Chennai, who now move to 33/1 after 8 overs. Targetting Moeen Ali, Raina jumped out of the crease and drilled the offspinner down the ground for his first boundary. Next ball, Raina takes out his front leg and almost slog sweeps the ball through mid-wicket. He is just 2 runs shy of registering 5000 Indian T20 League runs.

10:08PM: Navdeep Saini oversteps and Rayudu cashes in to get Chennai’s second boundary of the innings. The Chepauk surface continues to be difficult to score on. Chennai 23 for 1 after seven overs, need another 48 off 78 balls. At the same stage though, Bangalore were 38 for the loss of two wickets.

10:03PM: Powerplay done and Chennai are 16 for 1 after six overs. Just two runs off that previous over from Moeen Ali. They require another 55 off 84 deliveries.

9:58PM: Chennai playing sensibly by just taking singles and not trying anything too fancy. The required rate is a mere 3.76. At 14/1 after 5 overs, Chennai are left to score another 57 runs off 90 balls.

9:56PM: Five dot balls from Moeen Ali, and almost a wicket off the final delivery. Rayudu airs a sweep and a diving Umesh Yadav almost holds onto it, a wonderful effort none the less. Chennai 11 for 1 after 4 overs.

9:52PM: Bowled Him! Chahal cleans up Watson for Bangalore’s first breakthrough. Slides it in and Watson, early into his shot, misses the sweep. He goes for a 10-ball duck as Chennai reach 10/1 after 3 overs.

9:48PM: Two overs gone, Chennai 8/0. Navdeep Saini generating pace and keeping the batsmen on their toes. He pinned Watson on the helmet and puts and for a moment, had the former Australia in trouble with a ball that moved back in. Ambati Rayudu, however, breaks the shackles and gets the first MAXIMUM of the innings.

9:42PM: Yuzvendra Chahal begins the second innings with a maiden. Chennai, obviously, in no hurry to score, with Shane Watson content to play out Chahal and bide his time.

9:22PM: ALL OVER! Bangalore have been bundled out for 70 against Chennai in the Indian T20 League opener at Chepauk. Dwayne Bravo gets Parthiv Patel out for the final wicket of the innings. Three wickets each for Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir. This, in fact, is the sixth-lowest total in the Indian T20 League. Safe to say, we’ve had quite the start to this edition already.

9:18PM: Jadeja finishes his quota of 4 overs and finished with 2 for 15, his second wicket arriving in the 17th over, where he uprooted Umesh Yadav’s middle stump to push Bangalore to 70 for 9.

9:11PM: Bangalore 66 for 8 after 15 overs. Parthiv Patel is waging a lone battle, batting on 27 having scored just the third boundary of the innings in that 15th over from Jadeja. Another referral taken by Dhoni against Patel but the on-field decision of NOT OUT stays.

9:08PM: Imran Tahir is on a roll, gets his third wicket to reduce Bangalore to 59 for 8. Another wrong one and Yuzvendra Chahal holes out to Harbhajan at deep midwicket. The India offspinner continues to have a great match, having already taken three top-order wickets. Will Bangalore cross 75? Looks highly unlikely.

9:01PM: The second strategic time out is taken but well, there is nothing left to strategize for Bangalore with their score reading 59 for 7 after 13 overs. Chennai get together to likely device a plan to roll Bangalore over as soon as possible.

8:58PM: 12 overs gone and Bangalore are 55 for 7. Imran Tahir is rewarded with his second wicket after he and MS Dhoni get a DRS call spot on. Tahir’s googly had rapped Navdeep Saini on the pads, and on referral, while the LBW call was never in question, it was the little inside edge that Saini had offered before the ball hit the pads. It lobbed in the air and Shane Watson took a safe catch diving forward. Bangalore in a freefall.

8:52PM: Bangalore 53 for 6 after 11 overs. A wicket is falling every over. Jadeja, in first over, gets the wicket of Colin de Grandhomme, who feathers it to MS Dhoni. We’re already into the tail with Navdeep Saini now walking out to partner Parthiv Patel.

8:47PM: GONE. Bangalore have lost HALF their side for 45. More spin introduced in the form of Imran Tahir and the South Africa legspinner foxes debutant Shivam Dube with a googly, who almost gives catching practice to Shane Watson at first slip. Did you imagine a start such as this from Bangalore?

8:42PM: Bangalore 45 for 4 in nine overs. The strategic time out is taken and Bangalore would want to regroup after their disastrous start. It’s been complete and utter pandemonium. Only Parthiv Patel has reached double figures and remains unbeaten on 16

8:28PM: Two wickets in that over, Bangalore 39 for 4 in 8 overs. First Kohli, and now AB de Villiers, Harbhajan Singh is on a roll as he picks up his third. The slow nature of the surface gets the better on De Villiers, who finds Jadeja at deep midwicket. Two balls later, more chaos unfolds for Bangalore as Shimron Hetmyer runs himself out. It’s going from bad to worse for Bangalore.

8:31PM: Bangalore 36 for 2 after 7 overs. Yes, it indeed is T20 cricket that is being played. Deepak Chahar bowls out his quota of four overs and what a disciplined spell it has been. Even though Chahar hasn’t picked a wicket, he’c conceded just 17 runs, almost getting AB de Villiers in the previous over.

8:26pm: Second wicket for Harbhajan. Once again he bowls slow to fox Moeen Ali, who pushes the ball back to Harbhajan for a soft caught and bowled dismissal. Terrific stuff from the experienced offspinner, who has read the conditions bloody well so far. Gives it flight and releases the ball slow. End of the Powerplay and Bangalore are struggling to get going at 33 for 2.

8:21pm: Runs not coming easily for Bangalore. Just six singles taken off that over and Bangalore move to 28 for 1 after. Chahar continues to keep the batsmen on their toes. In three overs, he has given just 14 runs.

8:18PM: GOT HIM! Kohli perishes to Harbhajan. Slightly short and the Bangalore captain pulls the ball straight to Ravindra Jadeja at deep mid-wicket. Kohli is the first wicket of the 2019 Indian T20 League. New batsman Moeen Ali wastes no time and tonks Harbhajan for the first MAXIMUM of the match and the tournament. Bangalore 22 for 1 after 4 overs.

8:13PM: Chennai keep Bengalore guessing. The surface seems to be slightly two-paced as Kohli struggles to find his timing and almost runs himself out second ball. Four dot balls in a row in that over keeps Bangalore to 15/0 after 3 overs. Chahar slipped off the final delivery, losing his control and bowling a no-ball (the ball went over Kohli’s lead), but picked himself up bowling a dot ball off the FREE HIT!

8:07PM: Harbhajan starts well. Seven runs off the over as Bangalore move to 12/0 after 2. Singles continue to come, although Chennai are just a little sloppy in the outfield. A second misfield in as many overs; Chahar the culprit on this occasion.

8:03PM: Bangalore 5/0 after first over. First boundary of the tournament scored, and it comes off the bat off Parthiv Patel, albeit courtesy a misfield by Shardul Thakur at mid-off. A tight over otherwise from Chahar, which saw Kohli get off the mark with a flick towards deep fine-leg off the first ball.

7:57PM: Game time. The umpires make their way on to the middle. So do Parthiv Patel and Virat Kohli. The Chennai team is in a huddle. They’re the only team to win the Indian T20 League in back-to-back editions (in 2010 and 2011). Could this be the beginning to another consecutive title win? Deepak Chahar has the ball. Kohli on strike. We’re underway!

7:50PM: It’s time, ladies and gentlemen, for the 2019 edition of the Indian T20 League to get underway. Two megastars of India cricket going against one another. Kohli will be opening the innings with Parthiv. Whoa, how often do we see that? Do you remember the last time Kohli opened? If yes, drop in your answer in the comments’ section.

7:43PM: Well, Well, Well!

7:38pm: MILESTONE ALERT – Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli are at the cusp of a historic feat. Both batsmen are just a few runs short of scoring 5000 runs in the Indian T20 League. Raina needs 15 more runs to get there, whereas Kohli is 52 short of the milestone. Who will get there? With Bangalore batting first, do you back Kohli to pip Raina as the first batsman to climb Mount 5k?

Chennai’s Playing XI: Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(wk/c), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir

Bangalore’s Playing XI: Parthiv Patel(wk), Virat Kohli(c), Moeen Ali, AB de Villiers, Shimron Hetmyer, Shivam Dube, Colin de Grandhomme, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini (Navdeep Saini, Shimron Hetmyer and Shivam Dube are making their debuts for Bangalore)

7:30PM: Captain’s Corner

Virat Kohli: We want to be a team that find ways to win cricket games. Even in Stoinis and Coulter-Nile’s absence we have a balanced team. There was lot of dew in the last few days. We would have bowled too. I will open the innings today with Parthiv Patel. Our four foreign players are ABD, Hetmyer, Moeen Ali and CDG. Either ABD or Moeen will bat at three, depending on the situation of the match.

MS Dhoni: I think it was one of the great comebacks last year. We had our challenges and we overcame them to win the trophy. We will be roaring for sure but basics are very important. We have to start from scratch this year. We will bowl first. We are not sure about the wicket. It looks slightly on the slower side. It is the first game of the tournament so we are not sure of the target to set. We are playing with three foreign players and they are: Watson, Bravo and Tahir.

7:25PM: MS Dhoni wins toss and Chennai have opted to bowl against Virat Kohli’s Bangalore. 

7:15 PM: We’re 15 minutes away from the toss, ladies and gentlemen. The roar at Chepauk is deafening. After all, how often do people get to see their two most favourite cricketers – MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli – go face to face.

Hello and welcome to our coverage of the opening match of the Indian T20 League 2019 between Chennai and Bangalore at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai on Saturday. (FOLLOW: Chennai Vs Bangalore Cricket Score)

Boosted by last season’s performance where they defeated Bangalore in both their matches, Chennai will be looking to get their campaign underway with a winning start. The MS Dhoni-led squad managed to retain almost everyone from their title-winning squad and look to be strong contenders to make it two titles in a row this season.

Bangalore have been the perennial chokers of the league, but this year, Virat Kohli is determined to shed the tag. With a fresh coaching staff led by former South Africa opener and India’s 2011 World Cup-winning coach Gary Kirsten and Ashish Nehra, Bangalore won’t be having pressure of winning at home and they will pull off all stops to create an upset at the Chepauk. Will that be the case or will ‘thala’ Dhoni and Co. live up to expectations?

Teams

Chennai Super Kings (CSK)

CSK are certain to go with their tried and tested opening combination of Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson. While Rayudu hasn’t been in the best of forms recently, Watson, who was the Player of the Tournament in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) after scoring 430 runs from 12 matches at an average of 43, has been in red hot form. In Dhoni and Suresh Raina, CSK have a formidable middle order.

Coach Stephen Fleming confirmed the arrival of South Africa captain Faf du Plessis, leg-spinner Imran Tahir and New Zealand allrounder Mitchell Santner and said that the trio were available for selection. Dwayne Bravo and Mitchell Santner are set to feature in the side with either the England duo of Sam Billings or David Willey expected to fill in the fourth overseas slot.

Probable XI: 1. Ambati Rayudu, 2. Shane Watson, 3. Suresh Raina, 4. MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), 5. Kedar Jadhav, 6. Sam Billings/David Willey, 7. Dwayne Bravo, 8. Imran Tahir, 9. Deepak Chahar, 10. Mitchell Santner, 11. Shardul Thakur

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)

A major chunk of RCB’s run scoring will be shouldered by the explosive duo of captain Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. RCB added more firepower to their batting arsenal with the signing of West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer, who grabbed eyeballs in the series against India, and will be a sure shot inclusion. While RCB have always faced a problem of balance in their squad, the signing of Mumbai allrounder Shivam Dube could resolve the issue. Dube, however, short on match fitness, but could make it to the playing XI.

New Zealand pacer Tim Southee will lead the bowling department, while Umesh Yadav will be expected to replicate last year’s heroics where he snapped 20 wickets. With the Chepauk known to assist spinners, RCB may go ahead with Pawan Negi or Moeen Ali along with Yuzvendra Chahal and home boy Washington Sundar.

Probable XI: 1. Parthiv Patel, 2. Shimron Hetmyer, 3. Virat Kohli, 4. AB de Villiers, 5. Moeen Ali, 6. Shivam Dube, 7. Washington Sundar/Pawan Negi, 8. Tim Southee, 9. Umesh Yadav, 10. Mohammad Siraj, 11. Yuzvendra Chahal

Head to Head:

Total number of matches played: 23

CSK: 15

RCB: 7

No Result: 1

Matches in Chepauk: 7 (CSK won 6, RCB 1)

Last five matches: CSK 5 RCB 0