VVS Laxman, who sustained an injury during his last game, sat out as Hyderabad Deccan Chargers stand-in skipper Adam Gilchrist won the toss and elected to bowl.
Thanks to a mix of Hyderabad's acrobatic fielding and Chennai's poor shot selection, Hyderabad were on top throughout the first half.
Chennai had lost their four wickets within fifty runs before Suresh Raina (32) and MS Dhoni (23) came to their rescue and some lusty hits by Morkel and Gony in the death overs ensured Chennai a competitive total. For Deccan Chargers, all the bowlers tested by stand-in-skipper Gilchrist took one wicket apiece as RP Singh scalped two
Parthiv Patel was the first to fall, in the first over of the game. Patel's mistimed pull hung in the air for an eternity while RP Singh ran a mile from long leg to deep square leg to complete a well-judged catch.
Anirudha Srikkanth, son of the former India opener, lasted seven balls on IPL debut to make one. Stephen Fleming whacked the cover off a ball from Scott Styris but Rohit Sharma at cover timed his jump to perfection, completing a sharp catch. Then, Herschelle Gibbs pulled off a stunner, flinging himself to his left to catch a mistimed cut from S Badrinath.
Suresh Raina was his normal self, striking the ball with casual ease but with the introduction of left arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, runs slowed down.
Ojha gave away 22 runs in his four overs, and if it weren't for a 124-metre long six over midwicket by Albie Morkel, his figures would have looked even better.
The spell managed to tie down Chennai captain MS Dhoni, and but for some good happy hour slogs from Morkel and Manpreet Gony, Chennai would have struggled to set Hyderabad a target of six runs an over.