It was billed as a contest between the Indian Premier League's two most expensive imports in Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff.
|Wishful thinking from Hayden's bat in his impressive knock [AFP]
But it was Matthew Hayden and Muttiah Muralitharan who took the limelight as they steered the Chennai Super Kings to an emphatic 92-run win over the Bangalore Royal Challengers as the IPL continued its overseas stint in South Africa.
Hayden hit nine fours and two sixes on his way to 65 in a 106-run opening stand with Parthiv Patel in 10 overs.
Bangalore skipper Pietersen had his moment as he bowled Patel with his first ball in the 11th over and Hayden was run out in the same over, but the solid first-wicket foundation set Chennai on course for a total of 179 for five.
The former Australia opener retired from international cricket at the start of the year but again showed the skills that allowed him to dominate bowling attacks around the world for more than a decade, cracking nine fours and two sixes.
England all-rounder Flintoff – who like Pietersen cost $1,550,000 in February's auction – chipped in with an unbeaten 22 from 13 deliveries.
Sri Lanka spinner Muralitharan then took three for 11 in four overs to ruin Bangalore's victory hopes and scoop the man of the match award.
Jacques Kallis top-scored with 24 in 19 balls while Robin Uthappa and Rahul Dravid hit 20 apiece before the Challengers were skittled out for 87.
"Everyone expects Matty to score straight, but when all of a sudden he starts to score through the leg-side and fine-leg he becomes difficult to contain," said Chennai captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who also praised Muralitharan.
"It's great to have a bowler like him in the side," Dhoni said.
"When the pitch is helping he is a bowler who can take you through."
Both teams are 1-1 in the competition, with Chennai rebounding from a 19-run opening loss to Mumbai Indians and Bangalore slumping after a 75-run defeat of defending champion Rajasthan Royals at Cape Town on the weekend.