Brad Hogg, 44 years and 81 days young, on his Kolkata Knight Riders debut, taught the young'uns a thing or two about T20 bowling, with Piyush Chawla and Andre Russell also joining in the fun to the put the choke on the Chennai Super Kings batsmen at their own bastion the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
The result of that brilliant bowling from KKR was CSK, with Brendon McCullum, MS Dhoni, Dwayne Smith and Suresh Raina in tow, managing just 134/6 in their 20 overs, with the chase looking like a foregone conclusion. However, CSK have their own special bowlers, and R Ashwin (2-0-5-2), who could only bowl two overs after injuring his finger while fielding, and Dwayne Bravo (3-0-22-3) led from the front to turn this low-scorer into a cliff-hanger.
KKR ho-hummed their way towards the small target, losing wickets at regular intervals, courtesy some good bowling and outstanding fielding from CSK, before eventually falling short by 2 runs, finishing on 132 for nine.
Gautam Gambhir won the toss and did what he always does – bowl first – and it was takeover time for the KKR bowlers from that point. Pat Cummins, in for the rested Morne Morkel, started the bowling with plenty of pace, with an outside edge off Smith flying over the slips for a boundary.
Smith and McCullum have been the most dominant partnership in IPL 2015, tonking bowlers all over for fun, but this partnership between the two was more edgy than anything else. Therefore, it came as little surprise when McCullum (19, 14b, 3x4, 1x6) fell, lbw to Chawla (4-0-26-2), who snuck a googly in.
The run rate slowed considerably after the McCullum wicket, as Hogg came to the fore, with that surge only derailing a little bit more as Smith (25, 19b, 3x4, 1x6) was run out via a direct hit from Yusuf Pathan. Raina (17, 21b, 2x4, 1x6) has not quite been able to show his ridiculous IPL skills so far this season, bar one innings, and that trend continued again as Russell (4-0-26-2) found his outside edge next over.
A couple of overs after that, and Russell had the big wicket of Dhoni, who tickled one through to Uthappa while attempting a pull shot. With Dhoni gone, it was all down to Faf Du Plessis (29, 29b, 1x4), but the South African could only plod his team to a sub-par score in the 20 overs, as the pressure kept increasing with Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja, the one victim of the excellent Brad Hogg, who finished with figures of 4-0-18-2, falling without doing their jobs well enough.
The chase was going to be easy as long as KKR kept wickets in hand, but that plan went awry in just the second ball of the match as Gambhir's propensity to play the dab down to third man led to him edging one through to Dhoni for a first ball duck off the bowling of Ishwar Pandey.
Uthappa however, eased the pressure created by the early wicket with some outstanding boundaries, racing to 39 (6x4, 1x6), before the 17th ball he faced, and the first from R Ashwin, led to his demise as the opener played a pull shot straight to McCullum at midwicket.
So, yet again, the pressure was back on, with Manish Pandey (15, 20b, 2x4) not making the job for his team any easier by going for an unnecessary big shot off Ashwin and holing out in the deep.
Even with those two quick wickets, the required run rate was well under control, with KKR needing just 74 from 12.5 overs, the potentially destructive Suryakumar Yadav and Yusuf Pathan at the crease and the even more dangerous Ryan Ten Doeschate and Russell to come.
However, Dhoni, with the pitch aiding the slower bowlers, put the squeeze on, and slowly but surely the run rate kept creeping up. Suryakumar Yadav, who had landed a quite heavy blow on CSK by injuring Ashwin's bowling finger as the spinner failed to latch onto a smash from the batsman in the covers, looked to ease that pressure by taking on the first medium-pacer – Mohit Sharma -- that was brought in during that middle over spin spell, and all he managed was a miscue with Bravo sprinting like Usain Bolt from long-on to pouch a quite amazing one-handed catch inches from the ground.
At Suryakumar's wicket, KKR still needed 59 from 46, quite makeable with Pathan still at the crease, Ten Doeschate joining him and Russell waiting to pounce. Bravo, though, opened up the game that bit more, by dismissing Pathan (13, 18b), leaving KKR needing 40 from the last four overs.
Those required runs only got more difficult to run down, as Russell fell via a run out, leaving it all for Ten Doeschate (38, 28b, 2x4, 2x6) to do. Do it he could not, despite a four and a six off Nehra in the penultimate over and two fours and a six off Bravo in the final one, as CSK stole a win to go top of the IPL 2015 points table.