13 Mar 2010

Australian Hodge inspires Knight Riders to upset win in opening game of IPL

8:46 am on 13 March 2010

The Australian cricketer Brad Hodge made two key plays to help the Kolkata Knight Riders to an upset 11-run win over the defending champion Dechan Chargers in the opening match of the Indian Premier League in Mumbai.

Twenty20 cricket's all-time leading runscorer, Hodge did the damage with the ball on Friday night.

With Adam Gilchrist in full flight, the Chargers looked good to reel in the Knight Riders' 161 for 4 from their 20 overs.

Gilchrist blasted a quickfire half-century - including three fours and three sixes - while sharing a 61-run opening stand with VVS Laxman (22 off 14 balls) to have Dechan cruising at 99 for after 11 overs.

But Hodge made a telling breakthrough in the 12th over, dismissing his former Australian teammate for 54 from 39 balls to slow the Chargers' run chase.

Then, just as the Chargers looked to be getting back on top, Hodge caught Rohit Sharma at mid-off for 12 to leave the champions at 5-128 in the 17th over.

Their momentum stalled, the Chargers could only manage 150 for 7 from their 20 overs, leaving last year's wooden spooners comfortable winners in the first of 60 IPL matches this tournament.