Super Kings demolish listless Kings XI
Chennai Super Kings 139 for 0 (M Hussey 86*, Vijay 50*) beat Kings XI Punjab 138 (D Hussey 41, Bravo 3-27) by ten wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
The abbreviated nature of Twenty20 is supposed to bridge the gulf in quality between sides, but there was no hiding the vast difference between the weakest batting line-up in the tournament, and perhaps the strongest one. After being sent in, Kings XI Punjab lost all ten wickets; Chennai Super Kings chased down 139 without losing any in an embarrassingly one-sided contest in Mohali.
Australia's Shaun Marsh, still nursing an injury and not expected in India at least for a few more days, can't come soon enough to shore up a batting unit seriously lacking quality. With no renowned Indian batsman in the line-up, the star turn is provided by the ageing Adam Gilchrist and the 35-year-old David Hussey.
Not much can be expected from Gilchrist five years after his international retirement, and one year after he said he had played his last match of competitive cricket. As in the first game of the season, Gilchrist played a few vintage shots that had fans reminiscing about his free-swinging batting, but again he perished cheaply, picking out Michael Hussey at a deepish leg gully in the third over.
With Mandeep Singh holing out to square leg, and Manan Vohra heaving a half-tracker from Ravindra Jadeja to the man at deep midwicket, David Hussey needed to put in a big performance. He began well, with a series of eye-catching off-side boundaries, and with the help of some butter-fingered fielding from M Vijay and a cameo from Gurkeerat Singh, Kings XI moved along to a reasonably decent position of 106 for 3 after 14 overs.
That's when it all went wrong for Kings XI. R Ashwin's carrom ball had Hussey slicing a catch to long-off, and an over later Gurkeerat top-edged a sweep to Dirk Nannes at short fine leg. Kings XI's batting not only lacked in firepower, it lacked in depth as well. Azhar Mahmood is a position too high at No. 6, and the No. 7 R Sathish, primarily in the team as a batsman, has never scored a Twenty20 half-century. The long tail was ruthlessly exposed by Super Kings, as the lower-order perished in a series of big hits that weren't big enough. The final seven wickets went down for 32 runs.
For Super Kings, a team overflowing with batting riches, 139 was never going to be too much of a challenge, on a surface that was true and with a fast outfield to help. Kings XI were also hurt by a dicey third-umpire decision to rule Michael Hussey not-out though there wasn't much evidence to show he had made his ground. In the next five minutes, Piyush Chawla put down a return chance and Adam Gilchrist fluffed a stumping opportunity in the same over. Hussey and M Vijay were in no hurry early on, taking their time to blunt the Kings XI bowling, before finishing off the match with a series of huge hits.
It was an absolute hammering for Kings XI, and particularly humiliating as it was their first home game of the season, and one from which Gilchrist had hoped to "send the crowd home happy".
Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo