Lucknow Super Giants shocked defending champions Chennai Super Kings to win their first match in the Indian Premier League at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium on Thursday. Evin Lewis highlighted the LSG win with a 23-ball half-century, the fastest of IPL 2022.
Quinton de Kock scored 61 while skipper KL Rahul smashed 40 and Ayush Badoni followed up his half-century against Gujarat Titans with a superb cameo as LSG gunned down 211 to condemn CSK to their second successive defeat in this year’s Indian Premier League.
CSK had lost the opening match of the season to Kolkata Knight Riders after a horror batting show. On Thursday, they were much better on a good batting pitch with Robin Uthappa and Moeen Ali setting a strong platform for them. Shivam Dube and Ambati Rayudu played important innings too while MS Dhoni came out and hit an unbeaten 16 off 6 balls to set up a challenging chase for Lucknow Super Giants.
On a flat pitch against two inexexperienced new-ball bowlers, Rahul and de Kock got off to a brilliant start and added 99 for the opening wicket before Lewis’s assault ensured LSG had two points in the bank.
RAHUL, de KOCK RAPID
KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock are seasoned openers. They did not get off to a great start against Gujarat Titans in their first IPL match but up against defending champions Chennai Super Kings, the duo was on fire. Rahul and de Kock were merciless against Mukesh Choudhary while Tushar Deshpande did well to give away 17 runs off his 2 overs against an opening pair inent on attacking.
KL Rahul had won the Orange Cap in 2020 and was in conention for the top-scorer’s award in 2021 but he fell for duck against GT. On Thursday, Rahul showed why he is one of the most feared openers in the world – on a pitch which aided stroke-making, Rahul made merry.
Quinton de Kock got to his half-century off 34 balls but he was lucky to have survived up until that point, having been dropped by Moeen Ali in Dwayne Bravo’s first over.
CSK STRIKE BACK
LSG were cruising along until Dwaine Pretorius on his CSK debut, removed KL Rahul in his first over thanks to a good running catch by Ambati Rayudu. The LSG captain was furious with himself for his shot selection but his 26-ball 40 had set the tone for Lucknow.
Manish Pandey came in to bat at No.3 but he did not last long. Tushar Deshpande, back for his second spell, had Pandey caught at mid-off as the momentum shifted in a high-scoring game.
Another threatening partnership had started taking shape between Quinton de Kock and Evin Lewis. The two left-handers, Lewis in particular, had managed to keep LSG in the hunt for 211 even as CSK slipped in some economical overs. Lewis was brutal against Deshpande in his final over but CSK bounced back again when Pretorious removed fellow South African Quintin de Kock.
BRAVO OVERTAKES MALINGA
Dwayne Bravo became the leading wicket-taker in the Indian Premier League when Deepak Hooda holed out in the deep and Ravindra Jadeja took a good, sharp catch. Bravo could have got to the milestone earlier but Moeen Ali had grassed an easy catch to give Quinton de Kock a reprieve.
Bravo now has 171 wickets in the IPL. He had equaled Malinga’s record with figures of 3 for 20 off 4 overs in the opening match of IPL 2022 against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Robin Uthappa was promoted to open the order and he was devastating. Ruturaj Gaikwad, the Orange Cap winner in 2021, continued his poor start in IPL 2022 – after being dismissed for a duck in the season opener, he was run out for 1 against Lucknow Super Giants on Thursday. But that did not stop Robin Uthappa from attacking the LSG bowlers. He was unstoppable and smashed 8 boundaries and a six to storm to his half-century off only 25 balls.
Robin Uthappa was looking good for a few more before Ravi Bishnoi ended his stay with a googly which pinned him on the backfoot. A loud appeal was turned down by the on-field umpire but Bishnoi urged LSG skipper KL Rahul to use the DRS – it turned out to be a good review and LSG had their second breakthrough.
Moeen Ali did not feature for CSK against KKR but he came back to the side with a bang. Batting at No.3, Moeen smashed 35 off 22 balls and the innings was studded with 4 fours and 2 sixes. While he was at the crease, CSK’s projected total had reached scary proportions. Scary for LSG, of course. Moeen was eventually sent back by Avesh Khan – the cameo was entertaining while it lasted but now it was over to Shivam Dube and Ambati Rayudu.
Sure enough, Shivam Dube and Ambati Rayudu did not let the momentum drop. The two added 60 runs in 6.1 overs – Dube was the more aggressive of the two but Rayudu did his share of damage too before being bowled by Ravi Bishnoi for a 20-ball 27. That partnership ensured CSK stayed on course for a huge total.
Shivam Dube was relentless in his assault on the LSG bowlers but he fell one short of a half-century when he was caught by Evin Lewis in the deep off Avesh Khan. Dube’s 49 was packed with 5 fours and 2 sixes.
MS Dhoni became the 6th Indian to score 7000 T20 runs in the coure of his 6-ball 16. He came out all guns blazing, hitting a six and a four off Avesh Khan after the latter had dismissed Shivam Dube. In the last over of the CSK innings, Andrew Tye was spectacular, getting Ravindra Jadeja and Dwaine Pretorius off successive deliveries but Dhoni hit a boundary off the final ball to get to his milestone as CSK finished on 210 for 7 off 20 overs.