Mustafizur helps Chennai down Bengaluru in IPL opener

Warhorse: Chennai Super Kings' MS Dhoni enters the field on Friday (R.Satish BABU)
Warhorse: Chennai Super Kings' MS Dhoni enters the field on Friday (R.Satish BABU)

Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman returned figures of 4-29 to set up a six-wicket win for defending champions Chennai Super Kings in the IPL opener against Royal Challengers Bengaluru on Friday.

Hosts Chennai kept Bengaluru down to 173-6, a total their batsmen overhauled in 18.4 overs at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.

Shivam Dube, who hit 34, and fellow left-hander Ravindra Jadeja, who made 25, put on an unbeaten stand of 66 to steer the team home.

The 17th edition of the lucrative league began with a glitzy ceremony, with performances by Bollywood stars including India's Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman.

Extravagant dances, popular music and fireworks gave way to the toss as Bengaluru skipper Faf du Plessis elected to bat.

Old warhorse M.S. Dhoni had shocked his fans on the eve of the opener when he handed over the captaincy to Ruturaj Gaikwad, who said he got to know of the decision last week.

Gaikwad's leadership witnessed early challenges when his opposite number Du Plessis smashed regular boundaries but left-arm quick Mustafizur led Chennai's fightback with his IPL-best haul.

Mustafizur had Du Plessis caught out for 35 and Bengaluru slipped from 41-0 to 42-3 in the space of seven balls when Australia's Glenn Maxwell was out for a first-ball duck off Deepak Chahar.

Virat Kohli returned to competitive cricket after two months following a paternity break when he missed India's 4-1 Test victory over England and started cautiously.

He made 21 off 20 balls including a six off spinner Maheesh Theekshana before his departure in another inspired spell by Mustafizur, who again struck twice in an over.

Kohli was caught in the deep after a relay catch between Ajinkya Rahane and Rachin Ravindra and soon Cameron Green departed with Bengaluru losing half their side inside 12 overs.

Anuj Rawat, a wicketkeeper-batsman who hit 48, and Dinesh Karthik, 38 not out, steadied the ship and then took the attack to the opposition in their partnership of 95 in 50 balls.

In reply, Chennai's batsmen including IPL debutant Ravindra, who hit a 15-ball 37, got starts but lost regular wickets.

Green struck with two key wickets including Rahane (27) and Daryl Mitchell (22) with his fast-medium bowling but Jadeja kept the chase going.

Dube, who came in as impact substitute in place of Mustafizur, and Jadeja ensured the team sailed through.

Organisers have released only the first two weeks of the IPL schedule so far because it clashes with India's six-week-long general election. Last season the 10-team IPL lasted eight weeks.