AFTER THE high of the first game, it was a crash down to earth for the Bangalore Royal Challengers. Runners-up from the first edition, the Chennai Super Kings put together such an intimidating display from the first ball of the game that there was little the Bangalore team could do.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni won an important toss but even he would not have expected the fireworks that followed. Matthew Hayden and Parthiv Patel came out swinging, with the big Aussie particularly severe on the bowling. Praveen Kumar and Dale Steyn, who had utilised the conditions so well in the first game, were put off their rhythm as Hayden unfurled his trademark booming drives through the off side.
It took a moment of inspiration - and luck - on Kevin Pietersen's part to separate the two. The Bangalore skipper brought himself on to bowl off-spin and Patel (30) lost his off stump playing a big shot to an innocuous off-break. When Hayden (65) was run out off the very next ball, Chennai wobbled from a comfortable 106 for 0 to 106 for 2. By then, though, the base had been laid and all it took was useful contributions from the middle-order to push the score to a daunting 179 for 5 from 20 overs.
Bangalore desperately needed a strong start if they were to chase down the target but they got the opposite. Manpreet Gony cleaned up Praveen, sent up to pinch-hit, for a duck and Jacques Kallis walked into a full delivery from Albie Morkel. A shaky 40 for 2 became a disastrous 50 for 5 as Muttiah Muralitharan trapped Pietersen in front for a duck and had Robin Uthappa stumped off a doosra soon after Andrew Flintoff had sent Ross Taylor packing.
Rahul Dravid, who played a crucial role in holding the Bangalore innings together in their opening match, was left with far too much to do and it scarcely helped that none of the stroke-makers clicked.
Bangalore went down flailing, but they were never in the hunt after Murali's early strikes, and slumped to 87 all out, losing by 92 runs.