Kochi Tuskers Kerala rode on a rollicking opening stand between Brendon McCullum and VVS Laxman as they scored a challenging 161 for five against Royal Challengers Bangalore in their debut Indian Premier League match in Kochi on Saturday.
McCullum (45 off 32 balls) and Laxman (36 off 29 balls) gave KTK a blazing start with a 80-run stand from nine overs in their first IPL outing as the duo rained fours and sixes to take their side to 61 after the sixth over after their captain Mahela Jayawardene elected to bat.
The home side could not cash in on to the strong foundation laid by the openers as they lost wickets at regular intervals but still posted a challenging total.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja played a useful late cameo of 23 not out from 16 balls, which was studded with two fours and
McCullum blasted Australian fast bowler Dirk Nannes for 16 runs in the second over of the innings with two fours and a
The two openers gave respect to India's World Cup star bowler Zaheer Khan but carted all the other bowlers to all corners of the park in the initial overs.
The duo sent the crowd at the Nehru Stadium into a frenzy by taking 19 runs off young Abhimanyu Mithun in the sixth
overs of the innings with McCullum and Laxman hitting a six each.
The normally slow batter Laxman matched McCullum almost stroke for stroke as he hit another six off Tillakaratne Dilshan and a four off RCB captain Daniel Vettori.
The India Test star was the first to go as he holed out to deep midwicket fielder Cheteshwar Pujara off Dilshan in the
ninth over while attempting a big shot to leave KTK at 80-1.
KTK lost the momentum with McCullum dismissed soon after in the 12th over off part-time bowler Virat Kohli to leave the
home side at 93 for two.
McCullum went horribly wrong while trying to scoop the ball over the wicketkeeper as he lobbed a catch to Nannes at
short third man. His 45 came from 32 balls and was studded with four boundaries and two sixes.
Captain Jayawardene (18) did not contribute much as he was out off his counterpart Vettori in the 16th over as he completely missed the flight of the ball and AB de Villiers whipped off the bails in a flash.
Brad Hodge (27) and Riaphi Gomez (0) were out in the 18th and 19th overs as KTK ended their 20 overs at 161 for five
after they were 82 for one at the halfway mark.
For RCB, Vettori was the most impressive bowler with one for 17 runs while Zaheer, Nannes, Dilshan and Kohli also took
a wicket apiece.
Brief Scores: Kochi Tuskers Kerala: 161 for five in 20 overs (Brendon McCullum 45; Daniel Vettori 1-17) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore.