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Spinners lead CSK's hammering of RCB in IPL 2019 opener
IPL 2019

Spinners lead CSK's hammering of RCB in IPL 2019 opener

Harbhajan Singh led CSK’s assault to open the 2019 IPL edition with a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday.

Singh and Imran Tahir claimed three wickets each to dismiss Royal Challengers for a mere 70, a total the defending champions achieved with 14 balls to spare in Chennai.

After winning the toss and opting to bowl first, Singh got Super Kings their first breakthrough after sending back opposition skipper Virat Kohli for six in the fourth over of the innings.

The off-spinner ripped through the RCB top-order with his wily off-spin, getting the big wickets of Moeen Ali and AB de Villiers.

West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer was run out for nought and soon the Royal Challengers batting crumbled with spinners Tahir and Ravindra Jadeja, who took two wickets, combining to send them packing in 17.1 overs.

"It was a very good bowling effort by him (Harbhajan) to give us a kind of start that was very well capitalised by the other spinners," Dhoni said after the win.

"The wicket definitely needs to be much better, even with dew it was spinning big... other teams have good spinners as well and this isn't the pitch we are looking forward to," Dhoni said of the pitch at Chennai's MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Parthiv Patel top-scored with 29 and remained the only batsman in the line-up to cross double figures in what was the IPL's sixth lowest total.

With 71 required for victory, CSK lost opener Shane Watson for nought after Yuzvendra Chahal cleaned him up with his leg-spin.

Ambati Rayudu and Suresh Raina then put on 32-run partnership for the second wicket to get the chase on track.

The left-handed Raina became the first batsman in IPL history to cross the 5000-run mark during his 21-ball stay. Raina (5004) is ahead of Kohli (4954) in the IPL batting chart.

Moeen Ali dismissed Raina and Ambati Rayudu was cleaned up by paceman Mohammed Siraj. Kedar Jadhav, on 13, and Ravindra Jadeja, on six, took the Super Kings home.

Kolkata Knight Riders will face Sunrisers Hyderabad whereas Mumbai Indians will lock horns with Delhi Capitals.