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Chennai Super Kings snatch thrilling 2-run win over KKR in IPL opener

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Despite Jacque Kallis brilliant 54, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) displayed some splendid fielding and bowling to register a thrilling two run victory over Kokata Knight Riders (KKR) in the inaugural match of the fourth season of Indian Premier League (IPL)at the M A Chidambaram Stadium here tonight.

Spedster Tim Southee, off spinner R Ashwin, Suraj Randiv, Suresh Raina and S Jagati picked up a wicket each as the Kolkata team collapsed to 151 for 7 in 20 overs from a healthy 112 for 3 off 15.2 overs in response to CSK's 153 for four in the stipulated 20 overs.

CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, never one to be flummoxed, had a battle on his hands. The Kolkatans opening with Manvinder Singh Bisla and Jacqes Kallis went about their task straightaway.

Albie Morkel failed to find his length and line in the first over and each of the two batsmen took a four off him.

Stroking freely against Morkel, Kiwi top wicket-taker in the 2011 World Cup Southee, Ashwin and Randiv, the Knight Riders ran up their 50 mark off 30 balls. The stand was worth 52 runs in six overs.

The Knight Riders were happily placed at 60 for 1 off eight overs. But the Super Kings got their first victim ending the adventurous Bisla's inings. Dhoni stumped the batsman who stepped out to Shadab Jakati. His 27 off 29 balls had three fours.

The Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir sent Yusuf Pathan in to step on the 64 run stand. The two ensured that the team progressed to 91. But they suffered a shock when Dhoni ran out Pathan who backed up too far to Kalis, approacing 50.

Dhoni running to pick up the ball, turned round, removed his glove, picked up the ball and smashed down a stump. Pathan made 11 off 12 balls with one six as Knight Riders were 93 for 2, but had a lot of batting to come.

Kallis posted his 50 off 38 balls and the Knight Riders' 100 came in the 14th over. In the 16th the over, they suffered another setback losing Kalls. Ashwin, brought back into the attack, had Kallis playing a paddle sweep straight to his Tamll Nadu captain Badrinath.

Kallis'54 came off 42 balls with seven fours. Four overs remaining at 118 for 3, the Knight Riders were pushed to the brink in the 17th over when they lost two wickets in the space of three balls.

Eion Morgan got himself stumped by Dhoni off Suresh Raina for 1 and then Gambhir batting down the order, ran himself out attempting a second run. Scott Styris picking up the ball off the first throw by Morkel which Dhoni did not collect cleanly. His under-arm throw hit the stumps as Gambhir failed to make the ground.

Two overs remaining, the Knight Riders had to score 25 runs, the onus on Manoj Tiwari and Laxmiratan Shukla. Off Randiv, Shukla and Tiwari hit a six each and there was one four by Tiwari. But Randiv had the last laugh having Shukla stumped by Dhoni to see the Knight Riders down 6-145 in 19 overs.

The Super Kings appeared to be wrapping it up when Southee returning for another spell had Shukla caught at third man for 14 off 10 balls and two fours and as Iqbal Abdulla joined, they posted the 150 mark off 19.5 overs. They won as no run came off the last ball bowled by Southee.

The Super Kings maaged to win by a whisker and register their first points in the fourth edition of IPL in the process.

Batting first, the Super Kings had a shocking start. Opening with local talents Anirudha Srikkanth, son of chairman of selection committee and former India captain K Srikkanth, and M Vijay, the India Test batsman, they lost Vjjay at the end of the first over.

Vijay gifted the first IPL 4 wicket to Kolkata's left arm spinner Iqbal Abdulla who opened the attack. Vijay who hit a lovely four off him, played early and spooned an easy catch to Rajat Bhatia at mid-on.

The Kings then did some brisk scoring with Suresh Raina pairing well with Anirudha, who enjoyed a life when Yusuf Pathan, the second spinner with whom captain Gambhir opened the attack, dropped the batsman on his follow through. Later on, Pathan failed to hold on to a chance offerred by Raina.

The Kings, however, posted their 50 in 6.3 overs and went on confidently, both Anirudha and Raina stroking confidently. Gambhir, switching his bowlers, using another local talent former Indian pacer

L Balaji, Jacque Kallis, S Ladda and medium pacer Rajat Bhatia, saw Anirudha getting a second life when Morkel failed to hold a catch, off Pathan.

But Pathan had Raina fall for 33 off 29 balls with four fours when he had the left hander caught at mid-wicket when the latter tried to slog one over that position. The Super Kings were 80-2 off 10.3 overs.

Dhoni promoted himself ahead of Tamil Nadu captain S Badrinath and started tapping the ball about for singles to get his eye in. Anirudha was looking for the first 50 in IPL4. He achieved it as the Super Kings posted their 100 in 14.2 overs with some aggressive hitting.

However, after the Super Kings pushed their score to 129, Dhoni fell for 29 off 21 balls with one four and a six when he top edged a hook off Kallis to Kolkata wicket keeper Manvinder Singh Bisla. The third wicket stand was worth 49 precious runs to the home team off 6.5 overs.

But as the innings was approaching the end with four balls remaining in the final 20th over, Anirudha was castled by Kallis. But it was his knock of 64 that kept the Kings innings going.

Morkel who replaced Dhoni and Scott Styris who came in for Anirudha could do little.

But in a brief flourish Morkel (15 n.o) hit a four and a six off nine balls and Styris (5 n.o) hit one four, all off Kallis as the innings ended for 153.

Left arm spinner Iqbal Abdula claimed one wicket, for 26 runs off four overs and Jacque Kallis the most successful got 2-34 off three overs.

Earlier, actor Shah Rukh Khan, owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders, danced to popular Hindi and Tamil tunes at the inauguration of the tournament.

He danced to popular Tamil song 'Appadi podu...' with Kollywood star Shriya Saran and to his own hit movie song 'Chak De...' to entertain the crowd.

Sunidhi Chauhan rendered a few popular Bollywood hits including 'Anvayi, Dhoom Machale, Dance Pe Chance Marle' after Taufiq Quereshi opened the show with a tabla recital.

UK based artist Raghav performed and famous Indian playback singer Kunal Gunjanwala, Manasi Scott, Akriti Kakad and Sona Mahapatra also dazzled the stage with their performances.

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