The first ever cricket match was played way back in 1877, and this game is one of the oldest in the world. However, last two decades or so saw a number of changes in this game. But the real turnaround happened when the Indian Premier League came into existence. It was not just about Indian cricket; it also benefited the whole cricket world. It is because of the IPL that cricket has competed among the top sporting leagues across the globe.
The Indian Premier League has already established itself among the top five sports competitions in the world. It was the first-ever T20 franchise competition in the world that took the game to another level. The IPL has reached new heights now, which were just imaginable two decades ago. It has hosted a number of seasons, but the memory of the first ever IPL game that was played in India is still one of the best matches that can ever happen.
First IPL match played in India
The first ever IPL season has a total of 8 teams based on the major cities in India. Some Indian superstars captained those teams with a few overseas captain. However, the first ever match took place between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore on April 18, 2008. This game had some of the biggest superstars of that era playing together for both teams.
Ahead of the start of the tournament, the hype of a new, one-of-a-kind league was very high. Everyone was excited to see something new and a totally different kind of tournament. And the start of the tournament in the first ever IPL match was brilliant, as expected. It was full of fireworks between two teams that gave fans goosebumps. It started with the RCB winning the toss and deciding to bowl first.
KKR Playing XI: Sourav Ganguly (c), Brendon McCullum, Ricky Ponting, David Hussey, Mohammad Hafeez, Laxmi Shukla, Wriddhiman Saha, Ajit Agarkar, Ashok Dinda, Murali Kartik, Ishant Sharma
RCB Playing XI: Rahul Dravid (c), Wasim Jaffer, Virat Kohli, Jacques Kallis, Cameron White, Mark Boucher, Balachandra Akhil, Ashley Noffke, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Sunil Joshi
Match Summery (First Inning)
Sourav Ganguly was leading KKR while Rahul Dravid was captain of the RCB. Batting first, KKR had a flying start to their inning. Both openers added 61 runs in just 5.2 overs. But it was all about Brendon McCullum, who went berserk in the first inning. Ganguly scored only ten runs in the 61-run partnership. McCullum scored a 32-ball half-century.
Then he added another 51 runs for the second wicket with Ricky Ponting (20 off 20). McCullum smashed the first ever century in the IPL in that very first game itself. He slammed a century off 53 balls, with 8 fours and 7 sixes. He was doing bulk of the scoring in the first inning while other batters were playing the supporting role.
He finished the inning unbeaten on 158 runs off just 73 balls, including 10 fours and 13 sixes, for a strike rate of 216.43. KKR posted a big total of 222/3 in their 20 overs. The next-best player for KKR was Ponting, who scored 20 runs. It was carnage in Bengaluru. McCullum registered the highest ever IPL score by a batter which remained at the top for five years, until Chris Gayle (175*) broke it in 2013 while playing for RCB against Pune Warriors.
RCB vs KKR – The Chase
It was a mountain to climb for Royal Challengers Bangalore, as a team scoring over 200 runs was rare in T20 cricket. It needed a great start, but RCB had two of the best test openers in Wasim Jaffer and skipper Rahul Dravid. RCB had some big players on their team, but no one could step up in the chase. They lost their first wicket on the first ball of the second over.
After that they suffered a cluster of wickets. Only Praveen Kumar crossed the 10-run mark. He scored 18 not out. The highest score for RCB came in extras, which was a total of 18. Bangalore got dismissed for just 82 runs in 15.1 overs, handing over the biggest win to KKR in the IPL. Although MI later broke the record for the biggest IPL win when they defeated DC by 146 runs in 2016,
RCB and KKR Journey in the IPL 2008
After the first game, both teams played another 13 games in the group. But neither RCB nor KKR were able to qualify for the semi-finals. KKR ended the tournament in sixth place with six wins, seven defeats, and one no-result out of 14 games. Meanwhile, RCB finished the group in 7th place with four wins and 10 defeats out of 14 games.
The top four teams to qualify for the semi-finals were the Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings), Chennai Super Kings, and Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals). CSK and RR played the final, and Rajasthan won the inaugural season under Shane Warne.