The reigning champions of the Indian Premier League were defeated in dramatic fashion, as the Kolkata Knight Riders beat the Deccan Chargers by 11 runs to take the first match of the 2010 series.
The Chargers appeared to be in complete control, as Adam Gilchrist scored his ninth 50 of the IPL off just 31 balls, but fell just four balls later, and their innings steadily imploded.
Wickets were shared evenly amongst the Knight Riders' bowlers, and they will be delighted with the first victory of the series against the reigning champions.
The real heroes for the Knight Riders came in the shape of Angelo Mathews and England's Owais Shah, who is only playing because he has not been selected for his country.
Two wickets in the first over made life extremely difficult for the Knight Riders, and their scorecard looked even worse four later, with the score at 31-4 after just five overs.
It appeared that the Chargers' early burst of wickets would set them up for their first win in their new home ground, but Shah and Mathews teed off to score at a rate of over 100—Shah scoring 58 of 46 balls, and Mathews making 65 from the same amount.
Seven 6s were shared between the partnership, who smashed the bowlers around the ground to set a defendable target of 161...although it looked extremely attainable when Gibbs and Gilchrist were at the crease.
The big-hitting pair were cruising at 99-1 after 11 overs, and it seemed that they would easily make the target with several overs to spare.
But after Brad Hodge made the breakthrough against his former international teammate, Gilchrist, and Gibbs was caught at long on off Langeveldt, the Chargers never recovered, and victory for the Knight Riders arrived in sensational fashion.
The IPL is expected to create matches of high tension, big hitting, and unpredictable outcomes. If the first match is anything to go by, we are in for a hell of a tournament.
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