wild explosion and two upsets

HE'S OUT: Bangalore Royal Challengers' Balachandra Akhil, right, is bowled out by Rajasthan Royals' Shane Warne, unseen, during the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket match in Cape Town, South Africa, Saturday, April 18, 2009. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
HE'S OUT: Bangalore Royal Challengers' Balachandra Akhil, right, is bowled out by Rajasthan Royals' Shane Warne, unseen, during the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket match in Cape Town, South Africa, Saturday, April 18, 2009. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

The Indian Premier League (IPL) started on foreign soil with an explosion of entertainment and two cricket upsets at Newlands Saturday.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) started on foreign soil with an explosion of entertainment and two cricket upsets at Newlands Saturday.

A sell-out crowd - although there were gaps in the IPL hospitality area - saw both last year's finalists defeated at the start of the five-week tournament moved from India because of security concerns.

The Rajasthan Royals, the defending champions, crashed to a 75-run defeat against the Bangalore Royal Challengers, while the Chennai Super Kings were beaten by 19 runs by the Mumbai Indians.

After a presentation by the captains of the eight competing teams dedicated to the spirit of cricket, there were speeches by IPL commissioner Lalit Modi and South African President Kgalema Motlanthe.

Then came pop group Snow Patrol, acrobats, a laser show, fire dancers and a fireworks display.

Modi proclaimed: "We have brought a taste of modern India to a sports-mad country."

But he promised: "To the hundreds of millions of cricket fans in India "we haven't forgotten you. We will be back."

Earlier the cricket was threatened by morning rain and the games were played under cloudy skies.

A black dog managed to penetrate the security cordon around the ground and caused an interruption of 11 minutes during the first match between Mumbai and Chennai.

Three of India's greatest stars outshone the international players on display.

Sachin Tendulkar made a skillful 59 not out in leading Mumbai to victory, while Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble shone for Bangalore.

Dravid made the day's top score with 66 while Kumble took five wickets for five runs. - Sapa-AFP

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