Kolkata Knight Riders won a thriller against Chennai Super Kings, thanks to fifties from two of their foreign imports. Catch highligts here: (SCORECARD)
23:22 IST: Chawla comes out and hammers a first-ball four. KKR have won by three wickets to extend their 10-match unbeaten streak.
23:19 IST: WICKET! Pat Cummins is run out for eight with KKR three runs short of a win.
23:15 IST: Kolkata are overwhelming favourites here. They need 10 more from the last two overs.
23:06 IST: WICKET! Nehra has picked up his fourth and removed Russell, who was looking to add to his 58. Great stuff from the left-hand pacer.
23:00 IST: Andre Russell is on fire for Kolkata. He smashed Mohit Sharma for two sixes on the trot to bring up a half-century and then followed it up with a boundary. What a turnaround this has been.
22:50 IST: Chennai rode on a fifth-wicket stand while Kolkata are riding high on a sixth-wicket stand between ten Doeschate and Russell. Kolkata are certainly not out of it yet. They need 58 from six overs, very achievable.
22:47 IST: SIX! Spectacular effort from Raina in the deep but that cracker of a blow from Russell still sails past the ropes. KKR are slowly starting to come alive in the chase. They are 100/5 in 14 overs.
22:39 IST: Too early to call it a fightback from KKR but this is a grand effort underway. Ryan ten Doeschate smacked Ashwin for a SIX as the asking run rate came down.
22:36 IST: SIX! Andre Russell smashes Jadeja out of the park and follows it up with a boundary square of the wicket on the off side. And another SIX! KKR 77/5 off 11 overs.
22:34 IST: Kolkata are in disarray at 60/5, chasing 158, halfway through the innings.
22:30 IST: WICKET! Another one down for KKR and just when it looked like they had a partnership going. Suryakumar Yadav played a nothing shot against Ravindra Jadeja and the leading edge was easily taken by birthday boy Ashwin.
22:17 IST: KKR 28/4 off six overs, chasing 158 vs Chennai. This is as poor a start as any for the reigning IPL champions. A lot depends on this fifth wicket pair of ten Doeschate and Suryakumar Yadav. Can they match CSK's fifth wicket stand this evening? Dhoni and Bravo together slammed 71 runs in 7.3 overs.
22:11 IST: WICKET! What a spell this is from Nehra as he removes Bisla for 2. Kolkata are tottering at 21/4 in the fifth over and now are all but out of this contest, unless one of their foreign imports do something dramatic.
22:03 IST: WICKET! Mohit Sharma has a scalp now as Yusuf Pathan gets out for 1. KKR reeling at 10/3 and a win for them looks far-fetched. CSK are well and truly on top.
21:58 IST: Yusuf Pathan survives the hat-trick ball but what an over this is from Nehra.
21:57 IST: WICKET! Sensational stuff from Nehra; he is a on a hat-trick as Manish Pandey goes for a first-ball duck. KKR are in serious trouble at 9/2 off 2.2 overs.
21:55 IST: WICKET! Nehra strikes, Gambhir departs. This is a major breakthrough for the Super Kings. KKR have lost their captain and best batsman in a stiff chase. KKR 9/1 off 2.1 overs.
21:52 IST: KKR reach 9/0 off 2 overs, chasing 158, with openers Gambhir and Bisla in the middle.
21:30 IST: So Chennai finish with 157/4, thanks to Dhoni (35 no) and Bravo (28 no). The duo added 71 runs in 7.3 overs for the fifth wicket. Kolkata need a good start from Gambhir at the top. This should be an interesting chase.
21:28 IST: MS Dhoni is a master in the shorter formats. He paced his innings beautifully, bringing in some powerful shots to clobber Cummins for a six and smash a boundary off Umesh Yadav in the first ball of the 20th over. And then he smartly hands back strike to Dwayne Bravo.
21:22 IST: From the man who bowled maiden in a Super Over: 4-0-9-1. Chennai were flummoxed by Sunil Narine tonight. What a performer. If KKR win this one, they will owe a LOT to the mystery spinner from the West Indies.
21:17 IST: SIX! Take that! Bravo was all at sea against Narine in the previous over and now he has smashed Cummins for the second maximum in the over. CSK 132/4 off 17 overs.
21:15 IST: SIX! Bravo releases some pressure for CSK as he hits Pat Cummins over the top and into the stands. Much needed runs for Chennai. They are 122/4 in the 17th over.
21:12 IST: Excellent over from Sunil Narine; gives away just three runs in the 16th as CSK move on to 111/4. Bravo and Dhoni in the middle for the Super Kings.
21:04 IST: Dwayne Bravo hammers Umesh Yadav for two boundaries as CSK move to 96/4 off 14 overs after being asked to bat. This is good cricket from the Super Kings as they have not stopped attacking despite losing wickets at regular intervals.
20:57 IST: WICKET! This is a good fightback by Kolkata. Chawla has picked up his second scalp to see off the one and only Faf du Plessis. Gambhir should be a very happy man looking at the way his spinners have fought back despite constant attack from the Chennai batsmen.
20:50 IST: WICKET! Sunil Narine has cut short Suresh Raina's blitz in the middle; he was looking dangerous with every minute he spent at the crease but he wily West Indian off-spinner has brought KKR right back into it. CSK 84/3 off 11.4 overs.
20:45 IST: This is sensational counterattack from Suresh Raina, despite losing two star openers. He has Faf du Plessis for company and that means Chennai can still look at a big total on the board. Remember, KKR are without Uthappa and Kallis.
20:38 IST: Suresh Raina is fighting back for the Super Kings; he has been in great form in the ODIs lately and he has come out all guns blazing for the former champs. CSK 71/2 in 9 overs.
20:31 IST: T20 cricket in India means celebrities and WAGs. And when the first lady of Indian cricket arrives, the cameras can't stop flashing. Here is Mrs. Dhoni reaching the Hyderabad stadium for CSK's match vs KKR.
20:29 IST: WICKET! Yusuf Pathan has trapped Brendon McCullum lbw for 22. Kolkata are fighting back and fighting back hard. CSK are 49/2 off 6.4 overs and the spinners are doing the trick on a hard pitch.
20:22 IST: Not for the first time are KKR trying to fight back through their spinners. After Chawla removed the dangerous Smith, Sunil Narine bowled a brilliant over, giving away only three runs. There are two destructive batsmen in the middle for Chennai now; Raina has joined McCullum so Gambhir can't relax.
20:17 IST: WICKET! Crucial breakthrough by Chawla, who has the last laugh against the West Indian. He has removed Dwayne Smith for 20 and CSK are 37/1 off four overs.
20:14 IST: Gambhir brought Chawla on with the Super Kings running off to a good start. But there is no respite yet for the IPL champs as Smith decides to take him on anyways; cracks him for two boundaries in the first three overs.
20:12 IST: This is a blazing start for Chennai Super Kings; both openers are in an aggressive mood and the former champions have raced off to a 27/0 off three overs.
20:08 IST: Umesh Yadav has come under heavy fire from Smith and McCullum. Both Chennai openers stroked one boundary each as CSK move to 15/0 of off 2 overs.
20:05 IST: McCullum smashes Pat Cummins for a boundary as Chennai Super Kings move to 5/0 after an eventful first over, in which Dwayne Smith was dropped by Yusuf Pathan.
20:00 IST: Playing XI:
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gambhir (C), Bisla (WK), Pandey, Pathan, ten Doeschate, Russell, S Yadav, Chawla, Narine, U Yadav, Cummins
Chennai Super Kings: D Smith, McCullum, Raina, du Plessis, Bravo, Dhoni (C & WK), Jadeja, Ashwin, I Pandey, Nehra, M Sharma
19:58 IST: MS Dhoni is playing his 100th consecutive game for Chennai Super Kings tonight. Can he and his team make it memorable? Or will Kolkata Knight Riders extend their unbeaten streak? A lot at stake here.
19:49 IST: No clear idea yet about the team composition. We are waiting for confirmation ourselves, and will bring you news as soon as we have it.
19:38 IST: Gautam Gambhir won the toss and that means KKR will bowl vs Chennai Super Kings in the tournament opener. Dwayne Bravo in for the Super Kings.
The Champions League Twenty20 could not have asked for a better start with two former Indian Premier League champions Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings ready to do battle at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad.
Both sides have won the IPL twice and it will be a clash of titans in the tournament opener. The Knight Riders will miss the services of Shakib-al-Hasan, Morne Morkel and Chris Lynn but home-spun talent has often been dangerous in the shortest format of the game.
KKR boast of the likes of Manvinder Bisla, skipper Gautam Gambhir, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Piyush Chawla and Umesh Yadav alongwith Vinay Kumar. These men can be dangerous on their day.
CSK of course appear far more balanced. Led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the most successful IPL side are studded with jewels like Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis and birthday boy Ravichandran Ashwin, who turns 28 today.
It will be a clash between contrasting personalities. Gambhir does not want niceties from his team and he would much rather they become ugly winners than gracious losers. Dhoni, on the other hand, is a far more composed skipper, who believes in keeping emotions under check. He has already urged his side to get into CLT20 mode and he will hope that they shed their tag of slow starters in tournaments.
KKR have won nine successive games, the most by an IPL side. Can they extend their stretch? Meanwhile Ashwin is just two short of pocketing 150 wickets in T20 cricket.
IPL 2014 face-off
Chennai Super Kings won their first tie against Kolkata Knight Riders by 34 runs after Ravindra Jadeja snared 4/12 in his four overs to restrict Gambhir's men to 114/9 in their chase. However, KKR won the second match by eight wickets, thanks to Robin Uthappa's 67 at the Eden Gardens.
Face-to-face, CSK have won nine games and KKR have been victorious in five.