Chennai spinners unravelled Bangalore in the opening fixture of the Indian T20 League at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday with Imran Tahir claiming 3/13 and Harbhajan Singh returning 3/20 as Bangalore were shot down for just 70.
Chennai spinners unravelled Bangalore in the opening fixture of the Indian T20 League at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday with Imran Tahir claiming 3/13 and Harbhajan Singh returning 3/20 as Bangalore were shot down for just 70.

Chennai spinners unraveled Bangalore in the opening fixture of the Indian T20 League at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday with Imran Tahir claiming 3/13 and Harbhajan Singh returning 3/20 as Bangalore were shot down for just 70.

After opting to bowl first, Chennai needed 17.1 overs to bowl out Bangalore, who slumped to the sixth joint-lowest total in the league’s history and their joint-second lowest total.

Harbhajan (3/20), who had played only three T20 games in 2019 – all for his state side, Punjab, in the 2019 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and went wicketless, had Virat Kohli caught at deep midwicket off Ravindra Jadeja for just six in the fourth over of the match. Deepak Chahar had started well conceding just eight runs off the his first two overs while Harbhajan gave away just two in his first. Hence, the shot of desperation by the Indian skipper.

From there onward, it was a free fall for Bangalore. Moeen Ali, at No.3, had opened his account with a swat for a six off Harbhajan, but popped one back to the bowler in his next over to depart for nine.

AB de Villiers was undone by the slowness of the pitch, and went through his shot way too early as the top edge went to the midwicket and was caught by Jadeja. This after Tahir had dropped de Villiers a ball earlier while attempting the same shot.

In the same over, Indian T20 League debutant Shimron Hetmyer went for a non-existent single and tried to take on Suresh Raina’s arms. He was sent back by opener Parthiv Patel, but MS Dhoni had completed the run-out. Hetmyer went for a two-ball duck.

The inexperienced middle-order of Bangalore were no match to Chennai spinners as Tahir got in to the act to remove another debutant in Shivam Dube, who guided one straight to the hands of Shane Watson at first slip. An over later, Colin de Grandhomme got a faint edge off Jadeja to which Dhoni obliged as Bangalore slumped to 50/6.

Bangalore’s third debutant Navdeep Saini was caught by Watson off Tahir after Chennai had taken the review on a leg before decision, but the replays showed the Delhi bowler had nicked the ball.

Parthiv, at the other, was a mute spectator to the proceedings even as Tahir claimed his third when a Yuzvendra Chahal slog sweep ended in the hands of Harbhajan at midwicket. Jadeja knocked over Umesh Yadav for one while Dwayne Bravo had Parthiv caught at square leg off his first delivery of the match. He went for 29.

Brief Scores: Bangalore 70 (Parthiv Patel 29; Imran Tahir 3/9l Harbhajan Singh 3/20)