The 2020 season of the much anticipated Indian Premier League (IPL) finally started on September 19 in the foreign land of the UAE. The season opener between defending champion Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) treated one and all with a riveting contest.
MS Dhoni-led side registered a comprehensive five-wicket victory to start the season on a decent note.
For a franchise enduring a treacherous time since arriving in the UAE, the victory must have brought a shade of relief in the CSK camp.
The Super Kings earlier lost two of their most experienced players: Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh. Both of them pulled out from the tournament citing personal reasons.
Raina took to Twitter and wished good luck to the ‘Yellow Army’ ahead of the beginning of the match.
“Wishing you all the success boys @ChennaiIPL. Unimaginable for me that I’m not there today, but all my wishes are with you. Sending you all the good vibes! Go get it! #WhistlePodu”, wrote the 33-year-old.
Rayudu, Du Plessis shine as CSK started the campaign with a victory
CSK batsmen, on Saturday, ensured that the franchise does not feel the absence of Raina, who has been arguably the most consistent batsman in the history of the IPL.
Chasing 163 in 20 overs, CSK lost a couple of early wickets as Murali Vijay and Shane Watson departed inside two overs.
However, Ambati Rayudu and Faf du Plessis combined 115 runs for the third wicket to take CSK over the line.
Rayudu was also adjudged as ‘Man of the Match” for his fiery 71 which came off just 48 deliveries.
“I kept training in the lockdown. It was a stop-start but I was really eager. When the dew came on batting became much easier. We practiced in Chennai which really helped and then in Dubai as well,” remarked Rayudu in the post-match presentation.