Chennai Super Kings kicked off their campaign in IPL-7 with a flurry of fours and sixes as Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith hit blazing half centuries in a run feast, which powered them to a daunting 205 for four against Kings XI Punjab here today.
Electing to bat, CSK's innings was built on a solid 123-run opening-wicket partnership between McCullum and Dwayne Smith, and a 11-ball 26 cameo by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni towards the end at Sheikh Zayed Stadium. The final over saw 18 runs being scored.
While the veteran Kiwi McCullum struck a 67 off 45 balls with the help of four boundaries and five sixes, Smith scored a 43-ball 66 with the help of six fours and three sixes.
CSK batsmen started with a bang and the fifth over saw them stealing 18 runs. The over proved costly for the KXIP as Smith hit two consecutive boundaries before captain George Bailey dropped the dangerous McCullum off Parvinder Awana's bowling at 22. The Kiwi batsman then straight away punished the bowler by hitting a huge six.
McCullum brought up his fifty with a boundary off Rishi Dhawan.
The openers sent a lacklustre KXIP bowling attack on a leather hunt and that helped CSK reach 100-run mark in 10th over itself and set the team on course for a massive total.
Both McCullum and Smith played some effective shots to keep the Punjab attack at bay. While McCullum was at his dominating best, Smith was steady at the other end, making sure that the loose deliveries did not go unpunished.
It was the slow left-arm orthodox bowler Akshar Patel who finally gave KXIP the breakthrough by seeing off McCullum.
While Smith was looking to continue the momentum after McCullum's dismissal, Suresh Raina straight away started with a boundary.
Laxmipathy Balaji dismissed Smith with Bailey making no mistake at covers this time.
Determined to capitalise on the solid platform laid by the openers, Dhoni launched an all out attack from the very first ball.
Raina's departure on 19-ball 24 hardly affected the team's rhythm and in able company of Dwayne Bravo, Dhoni managed to take CSK past 200 runs in their allotted 20 overs.