Deccan Chargers stumbled at the first hurdle, stunned by Kolkata Knight Riders in the opening game of the DLF-Indian Premier League 2010.
The 2009 champion lost the way despite a superb 54 from captain Adam Gilchrist, scoring 150 for seven in the face of a spirited show from the Knight Riders bowlers.
Chargers lost by 11 runs chasing the 162-run target set by Sourav Ganguly's side. Ganguly used six bowlers, all of them chipped in with wickets at the D.Y. Patil stadium.
Charl Langeveldt got two for 26 and the others managed a wicket each as KKR held its nerve when defending.
Taking into account the dropped catches under pressure and lapses in the field, the turnaround was remarkable against a side boasting of big-hitting batsmen.
V.V.S. Laxman, opening for Chargers, tried to tune into the T20 wavelength with a swatted six over long-on, then let captain Gilchrist show how bowlers can be tamed. The Aussie got cracking with two sixes, number one off Langeveldt over mid-wicket and bettered the effort next time with a straight six, stepping out against L.R. Shukla.
Two dropped catches did not diminish Gilchrist's mastery, spotting the length early for clean hits, sending the ball soaring in a 35-ball 54 (3x4, 3x6). Hodge got him eventually, caught by Manoj Tiwary on the fence. Rohit Sharma (13 off 12 balls) took on the scoring duties, a late cut to third man and an on-drive. He fell for the bait from Mathews, chopping a short delivery towards short mid-on for Hodge to run across and do the rest. Knight Riders recovered from early upsets to post 161 for four. Mathews flexed his arms for an unbeaten 65 (46b, 5x4, 4x6) and saved his team from embarrassment.
The Sri Lankan, taking charge at number six, put on 130 runs in a fifth-wicket stand with England's Owais Shah 58 not out (46b, 3x4, 3x6). Shah used the pace of the wicket to stroke the ball, Mathews re-arranged his footwork to smash anything within range.
Vaas removed Tiwary with his first ball, the opener stunned when an attempted flick ended in Rohit Sharma's hands at square-leg. Skipper Sourav Ganguly was deceived by late swing, edging to Anirudh in the slips three balls later.
Cheteshwar Pujara broke the shackles with a crisp cover drive, but hit an uppish drive off R.P. Singh. Jaskaran Singh Bhuttar overcame stage fright in his first over with the valuable wicket of Brad Hodge off the next, inducing the Aussie to slash into Gibbs's hands at point, and then came up with a leg-cutter to leave the cautious Mathews in a tangle.
Deccan Chargers pressed slow bowlers Pragyan Ojha and Andrew Symonds into the attack from the seventh over.
Gilchrist took the first strategic break after eight overs with Knight Riders scrambling to 50 off 50 balls. Shah and Mathews attacked the slow bowlers, bold hitting taking the team past the 100-run mark off 94 balls.
Deccan Chargers took the second break after 16 overs and Vaas was brought back for his final burst. Shah and Mathews lashed sixes in a 100-run stand off 75 balls.
Knight Riders opted for Mathews, Hodge, Langeveldt and Shah among overseas players, resting Sri Lanka spinner Ajantha Mendis.
Deccan Chargers fielded all foreigners available in Symonds, Vaas, Gibbs, apart from captain Gilchrist.
Left-handed batsman Anirudh Singh made his IPL debut for Deccan Chargers, while Knight Riders opted for experienced hands.
Kolkata Knight Riders: M. Tiwary c R. Sharma b C. Vaas 0, B. Hodge c Gibbs b Jaskaran 13, S. Ganguly c Anirudh b Vaas 0, C. Pujara c Ojha b R.P. Singh 10, O. Shah (not out) 58, A. Mathews (not out) 65, Extras (lb-8, nb-1, w-6): 15; Total (for four wkts. in 20 overs): 161.
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-0, 3-31, 4-31.
Deccan Chargers bowling: Vaas 3-1-22-2, R.P. Singh 4-0-35-1, Jaskaran 4-0-35-1, Ojha 4-0-19-0, Symonds 4-0-26-0, Suman 1-0-16-0.
Deccan Chargers: A. Gilchrist c Tiwary b Hodge 54, V.V.S. Laxman c & b Kartik 22, H. Gibbs c Mathews b Langeveldt 19, A. Symonds c Ganguly b Ishant 5, Rohit c Hodge b Mathews 13, Anirudh c & b Shukla 14, T. Suman (not out) 7, C. Vaas b Langeveldt 0, Jaskaran (not out) 4, Extras (b-4, lb-1, nb-2, w-5): 12; Total (for seven wkts. in 20 overs): 150.
Fall of wickets: 1-61, 2-99, 3-102, 4-116, 5-128, 6-141, 7-142.
Knight Riders bowling: Langeveldt 4-0-26-2, Ishant 4-0-31-1, Shukla 3-0-30-1, Kartik 3-0-17-1, Mathews 4-0-27-1, Hodge 2-0-14-1.