The opening game of the 15th season started with a crushing defeat for Chennai. Batting first, the defending champions could only muster 131/5 in their full quota of overs. Former skipper MS Dhoni (50*) scored another half-century and stitched a partnership of unbeaten 70 runs alongside new skipper Ravindra Jadeja (26*). Chennai were tottering at 61/5 at one stage but Dhoni-Jadeja partnership took them to a respectable score.
In reply, Kolkata chased down the total in 18.3 overs with six wickets in hand. The contributors to the win were Ajinkya Rahane (44), Sam Billings (25), and skipper Shreyas Iyer (20). Talking about the bowling, Umesh Yadav took two wickets while Varun Chakravarthy and Andre Russell took one each. After the game, the new Chennai skipper rued lack of partnerships for the loss.
"I think dew will be vital and it will play a part. If you win the toss, you will definitely look to bowl first. In the first six overs, it was damp and in the second half, the ball was coming on. We were looking to drag the game as deep as we can. Bravo bowled brilliantly and everybody did a good job with the ball. As a batting unit, we didn't get partnerships. We will try to do better next game," said Jadeja in the post-match.
On the other hand, the new Kolkata skipper was asked whether he felt the tension when Dhoni was batting. Iyer said that there is always tension with someone like Dhoni at the crease. He was also high in praise for Umesh Yadav.
"There's always tension when MS Dhoni is batting, especially in the last three overs when the dew is coming. The franchise has been supportive, right from the CEO and support staff. We just have to carry the momentum from here. It was definitely spongier than we imagined. I've grown up playing here and I thought the wicket would be flat. Umesh has been working very hard at the nets and practise session. Chuffed to see him perform at his best today," said Iyer.
Here is what the Player Of The Match said
Umesh Yadav was adjudged the Player of the Game for his two early wickets of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway. The pacer thanked his trainers to keep him in shape and said that two early wickets set the tone for the team. Yadav was pleased with his performance.
"Wickets in the powerplay is important. Team's role is what I carried out today. Usually I've been focusing on my rhythm. I'm thankful to my trainers for keeping me in shape," Yadav said.