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Tuskers enjoy debut after McCullum fireworks

Brendan McCullum dazzled with the bat to help the Kochi Tuskers Kerala enjoy a rememberable IPL debut as they reached 161-5 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

McCullum got the Tuskers first ever innings in the IPL off to an electrifying start with a scintillating batting display which saw him smash three boundaries and a massive six from the first 9 balls of the game.

With the atmosphere rising inside the ground VVS Laxman, not known for his attacking style follwed McCullum’s lead as the Tuskers opening pair threatened to run riot against the Royals Challengers experienced bowling attack.

Having watched on from the non strikers end Laxman dispatched Daniel Vettori for a boundary through mid off before the veteran batsman got down on one knee to smash Tillakaratne Dilshan for a six in the 5th over.

With the pressure mounting on the visitors Abhimanyu Mithun was smashed out of the attack when he conceded 19 runs in the 6th over to help the Tuskers reach 61-0 at the end of the power play overs.

The runs continued to flow until the Royal Challengers finally made a break through at the end of the 9th over when Laxman (36) was caught by Cheteshwar Pujara out at deep midwicket after he tried to slog sweep Dilshan to leave the home side 80-1.

McCullum quickly followed with an ill-advised Dilshan scoop off the bowling on Virat Kohli which was easily caught by Dirk Nannes at short third man.

Despite the loss of the Tuskers opening pair in quick succession, Mahela Jayawardene and Brad Hodge remained focused while sharing a 3rd wicket partnership of 31 which allowed the home side to reach 124-2 at the end of the 15 overs.

With the partnership blossoming into a vital contribution Jayawardene’s (18) involvement in the innings was brought to an end when he was stumped by AB de Villiers off the bowling Vettori from the first delivery of the 16th over.

Hodge added 27 before he was bowled by Zaheer Khan but the Tuskers innings remained on course thanks to Ravindra Jadeja who smashed 23 runs from just 16 balls to help the home side come out on top.

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