With the Indian Premier League (IPL) season just around the corner, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) fans had a lot to cheer about at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai Sunday as the players took part in a practice match. The fans were allowed free entry into three stands, a huge number gathered to watch the CSK players.

Though captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni didn’t feature in the ‘match’, there was a loud cheer when he made an appearance. Dhoni trained for about an hour, sending deliveries into the stands at regular intervals.

None of the foreign players in the squad were present on the day. Only one half of the Twenty-20 game was played and Batting Lions had a hit with the willow.

Here are the pictures and videos from the practice match:

Murali Vijay (32) and Ambati Rayudu (40) opened the innings, with the latter donning the role of an accelerator.

Rayudu, who smashed five boundaries and a solitary six during his 23-ball stay, was sent back in the 7th over.

He was caught off the bowling of veteran Harbhajan Singh.

The hugely popular Suresh Raina (56), coming in at number three, was the only batter to post a half-century.

The team ended the innings at 199 for five.

Shardul Thakur was the best bowler, scalping two wickets, while Harbhajan, Karn and Deepak Chahar took one each.

The three stands C, D and E were packed and members of the fan club were also present in good numbers.

The CSK players began full-fledged training for the forthcoming season of IPL on Saturday, CSK takes on Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening match of IPL-12 at the MAC here on March 23.

(PTI INPUTS)