Delhi Daredevils made the perfect start to their Champions League T20 campaign, thrashing Indian Premier League champions Kolkata Knight Riders by 52 runs at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.
The typically bouncy South African wickets were in full view as the Knight Riders, chasing a target of 161, could only manage 108 for seven, failing to recover from a disastrous start.
Losing three wickets in seven balls, when you need over eight runs an over, can never bode well, and KKR lost the game before their innings even really got going. Gautam Gambhir was the first one to go, the captain top edging a flick straight to Kevin Pietersen at mid-on for a golden duck.
Gambhir's opening partner Manvinder Bisla soon followed, trapped leg before wicket by Irfan Pathan for his second wicket in the first over. KKR needed Brendon McCullum and Jacques Kallis to steady the ship, but the former played a loose stroke outside off stump -- Unmukt Chand gleefully accepting the gift at point off Morne Morkel's first delivery.
Just when it looked like it could not get any worse for the IPL champs, Kallis was forced to retire hurt, injuring his hand after the ball struck his glove off a rising Morkel delivery. That meant KKR were pretty much four down with just four runs on the board, effectively ending the game after just two overs of their innings.
Manoj Tiwary and Rajat Bhatia hung around for a while, but they were just delaying the inevitable as Delhi romped home to a convincing victory.
In the first innings, Delhi got off to a decent start, both Jayawardene and Virender Sehwag looking to play out the new ball taking as little risks as possible. It was the master T20 spinner, Sunil Narine, who broke the opening partnership, the West Indian castling Jayawardene for a 19-ball 21 in his first over.
Sehwag soon followed his captain back to the pavilion, edging a wide delivery to the wicketkeeper off Pradeep Sangwan's bowling.
Pietersen, who was consigned to studio commentary in the World T20, threatened to cut loose with a couple of good-looking shots, but the England batsman, after being bogged down by Narine, was caught by the spinner at midwicket off Brett Lee's bowling.
Unmukt Chand, the India under-19 captain who scored a brilliant century to guide his country to victory over Australia in the final recently, and Ross Taylor then put on the game-turning partnership.
Keeping their heads, the duo picked the doubles and singles at will, while putting away the loose deliveries -- a pick up six from Chand, who made 40 from 27 balls, particularly catching the eye.
The most entertaining over of the match came in the 17th from Lakshmipathy Balaji.
It started with three wides, a six and a four, before Taylor (36 in 24), going for his third straight boundary, was caught by Bhatia at midwicket. However, Chand, continued the momentum, taking Balaji for another 17 runs -- the over costing KKR a massive 30 runs.
That over took KKR to 144 for four, with three overs remaining. However, a masterful over from Narine and a wonderfully restrictive one from Kallis, saw only three runs given away in twelve deliveries with three wickets falling. The final over of the innings, bowled by Balaji, who ended his four overs with figures of two for 61, went for 13, as the Daredevils ended their innings on 160 for eight, a total that proved to be much too stiff for KKR.
Earlier, the home team Titans scored a comfortable 39-run victory over Australian side Perth Scorchers.
Put into bat, Titans got off to a smashing start, with the first wicket partnership yielding 109 runs. Jacques Rudolph (83 in 59) batted through the innings, and along with Henry Davids (54 from 38), provided the perfect platform for a high score.
Perth, however, held things back a bit in the final five overs, eventually restricting Titans to 163 for four, about 10-15 runs short of what they were on course for.
In reply, however, Perth never really got going, with only Mitchell Marsh making a meaningful contribution, scoring a quickfire 52 from 41 deliveries, as the Australian side folded up for 124 for seven. Cornelius De Villiers was the pick of the bowlers for the Titans, picking up three wickets for just 16 runs in his four overs.