Here, we take a glance at some of the moments from the season opener at Chennai.
Deepak Chahar revisits his ODI debut but redeems himself quickly
A natural stroke maker who is also adept in rotating strike, Virat Kohli was tied to one end in the third over by some immaculate lines from Deepak Chahar. The Chennai Super Kings seamer bowled four dots on the trot to the Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper but undid all the hard work with a beamer next up.
Chahar attempted a slower delivery, but the ball slipped out of his hands and went over Kohli's head to the keeper with the umpire signalling a no-ball and subsequently, a free-hit. Incidentally, on his ODI debut against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup last year, Chahar had sent down a beamer to Mohammad Shehzad. Then, the free-hit (which came after a couple more wides) was smashed for six.
But at Chepauk, Chahar was quick to redeem himself with a perfect toe-crusher off the free hit delivery. A dot ball ensured that he finished the over on a high. The pressure from the brilliant over got to Kohli and he promptly holed out off Harbhajan Singh next over.
Imran Tahir shows some South African love but AB de Villiers doesn't make it count
At 28/2 in the last over of powerplay, the Royal Challengers were in deep trouble and looked up to de Villiers to rescue them from the ruckus. He was lucky to enough to be handed a reprieve by his South African teammate, Imran Tahir, in the first ball of the eighth over. De Villiers slog swept Harbhajan to deep square leg, but Tahir, who was running in from the deep, shelled the catch much to the dismay of Chennai fans.
However, the yellow army did not have to fret much as de Villiers looked to take on Harbhajan with another hoick, this time over mid-wicket in the very next ball, only to hand a catch to Ravindra Jadeja, who pulled off an incredible effort at deep mid-wicket. The retired South African batsman could not make CSK pay for the dropped catch and his dismissal pegged the visitors back further.
MS Dhoni's cheeky comment and the smart Harbhajan Singh punt
At the toss, Dhoni had cheekily commented that he would like to bowl first as he was unsure of how the pitch would behave. However, the former Indian skipper seemed to have read the pitch extremely well as he threw the ball to Harbhajan in the second over of the innings, having understood that stroke making was tough on the wicket against the slower bowlers.
The Chepauk surface was extremely slow and the Harbhajan punt worked brilliantly as the veteran spinner bagged the big wickets of Kohli, Moeen Ali and de Villiers in his opening spell to put Chennai in the driving seat. Kohli and de Villiers were both dismissed while attempting to take Harbhajan on. Jadeja at deep mid-wicket was the fielder involved in both the dismissals as the off-spinner foiled the RCB duo's timing on a slow wicket. Ali, meanwhile, was out caught and bowled off the off-spinner after the ball stopped on the surface and bounced a tad higher than anticipated.
With his three wicket-haul, Harbhajan now has the joint most wickets, alongside Ashish Nehra against RCB (23).
The lucky inside edge that turned unlucky
Navdeep Saini was hit on the pads by an Imran Tahir googly and although the umpire turned down the LBW appeal from the CSK players, the South African forced Dhoni to review the decision. However, replays showed that the ball had grazed the inside edge of Saini's bat before hitting the pad, thus justifying the on-field umpire's decision
But if RCB fans were relieved seeing the inside edge, they were also in for a heartbreak. Watson, at first slip, had pouched the catch after the ball had popped up off Saini's pads. A review that appeared to have been taken for LBW ended up in favour of Chennai courtesy a lucky inside edge and astute game awareness from Watson.
Kedar Jadhav saved by RCB's sloppy fielding
CSK were cruising in an easy-looking run-chase but Royal Challengers Bangalore did not quite help themselves with some sloppy outfielding. A prime example of that came in the 10th over of the match when Jadhav tickled Moeen Ali to square leg and set off for a jog while watching the ball.
His partner, Ambati Rayudu, though, hadn't moved and Jadhav scampered back fairly comfortably thanks to some careless fielding by Chahal. The leg-spinner had swooped in on the ball swiftly to run Jadhav out but he missed the ball after a near-collision with de Villiers and though the South African fired in an underarm throw after the fumble, Jadhav had returned safely by then.