There’s something about Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and the inaugural games. In April 2008, when the Indian Premier League (IPL) started off on a starry night, the RCB lost to a spirited Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) when Brendon McCullum slammed one of the the Twenty20 (T20) centuries. The following year, when a new T20 extravaganza rolled out its first-ever game, they found themselves on the receiving end once again. This time, their tormenter-in-chief was a certain Jean Paul Duminy, who out-of-nowhere smacked 99 runs and led his side Cape Cobras to a thrilling last-over victory.
After an opening ceremony that reminded the one of IPL last year, the Champions League T20 tournament was all set to begin the following day. It was originally scheduled to happen in 2008, but the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai postponed it by a year. The opening match of the tournament, which saw the domestic T20 champions from different countries lock horns, was to be played between the RCB from India and the Cape Cobras from South Africa. Anil Kumble led RCB posted 180 on the board after winning the toss and opting to bat. Robin Uthappa and Ross Taylor starred with their fifties in RCB’s powerful batting display. In reply, the Cobras struggled initially, but Duminy stood tall and plundered five sixes and eight fours before finishing the game in the last over.
This was the beginning of a new chapter in the T20 cricket. The tournament witnessed five more editions after the inaugural one, before it was being shelved off for good. Dwindling TRP’s and poor response saw the sponsors backing out, and eventually spelled doom for the tournament. It did give some good memories though to the fans, out of which the Duminy special from the first-ever match will forever be etched in the hearts of his fans. Duminy, who’d never forget that fantastic display of batting, recently produced another gem-of-an innings against India at Dharamsala that trounced the hosts.