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IPL 2024: Rahul 82, de Kock half-century set up chase for Lucknow against Chennai (Ld)

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IPL 2024: Rahul 82, de Kock half-century set up chase for Lucknow against Chennai (Ld)

Lucknow, April 20 (Ajit Weekly News) After M.S Dhoni nailed the last bite by scoring 28 off nine deliveries, K.L Rahul (82) and Quinton de Kock’s (54) masterclass during a 154-run opening wicket partnership helped Lucknow Super Giants beat Chennai Super Kings by eight wickets in the highest successful run chase at Ekana Cricket Stadium here on Friday.

Dhoni was shadow-batting in the dressing room with three bats next to him with Chennai Super Kings struggling to put up a big score. After 15 overs, CSK were 113/5, and with two left-hand batters out there: Jadeja and Moeen. Until this game, CSK had scored at 11.26 in the death overs and if they could get anywhere closer to that, they would be more than happy, especially to post something around 160.

Earlier, given the chance to bat first Chennai got off to a poor start as Mohsin Khan from the Media End struck on the very first ball. He bowled a scrambled seam delivery to Rachin Ravindra and disturbed the stumps to make the crowd roar for him. A first-ball duck for Rachin and Mohsin bowled pretty tight for the rest of the over too to concede just three runs.

CSK had just started to pick up pace after being 7/1 in two overs and were 29/1 after four. K.L. Rahul then made a bowling change and brought on Yash Thakur for Matt Henry (2-0-17-0) and he struck with his second ball to have the CSK captain Ruturaj Gaikwad for 17.

And much to everyone’s surprise, out outwalked Ravindra Jadeja at No. 4. And as soon as the Power-play ended, Krunal Pandya came in the attack and he started with a quiet one, just six runs from the over. Ajinkya Rahane on the other end was going well for CSK at 26 off 16 after the Power-play, despite battling a niggle in the last game in Mumbai, with four fours and a six already.

After a quiet first over, Krunal got the wicket of Rahane, who was setting up nicely with 36 off 23 before swinging across the line for a ball that wasn’t so short. The in-form Shivam Dube came out at No.5 and considering his ability to attack against spinner, Rahul was bound to take his prime spinner Pandya out of attack. Just to highlight, Dube had never got out to either Pandya or Ravi Bishnoi in his entire IPL career.

It was hard to say which team was in front, and that was because LSG had removed a set batter, Rahane, after the Power-play, and Jadeja was knocking them at 27 off 18 as Dube was taking his time to tick along. LSG then brought on a fast bowler from one end – Yash Thakur – probably to bowl some short and quick ones to Dube.

After bowling back-to-back spinners’ overs against Jadeja and Dube, Rahul brought on pace from both ends. As soon as Marcus Stoinis came in, he bowled an innocuous-looking short delivery at 125.4 km/h, Dube went for the pull and top-edged for a skier which Rahul settled under just in time next to the pitch. Dube got out after scoring three runs from eight deliveries.

Sameer Rizvi the new man at No. 6, came in as an Impact Sub for Rahane, who won’t field in the chase. CSK were slowing down after the 12 overs and scored 89/4, with the last five overs bringing only 32/2.

CSK were crumbling with five down in 13 overs and a strange wicket fell on Pandya’s ball with Sameer Rizvi dancing miles down the ground for Rahul to effect a stumping. Rizvi lasted all of five balls for just one run and hasn’t impressed at all in his maiden IPL season.

Dhoni was shadow-batting in the dressing room with three bats next to him. Moeen Ali joined Jadeja who was making CSK tick along. He was on 33 off 24. CSK were 93/5 after 13 overs. After 15 overs, CSK were 113/5, and with two left-hand batters out there: Jadeja and Moeen. Until this game, CSK had scored at 11.26 in the death overs and if they could get anywhere closer to that, they would be more than happy, especially to post something around 160.

Bishnoi came back to bowl his last over of the spell which he later ended with the figure of 1-44 was taken down by Moeen Ali for three back-to-back sixes in the 18th over. Two on the leg side and one over long-off before he holed out to deep midwicket. But he departed after scoring 30 from 20 deliveries. CSK were 142 for 6 after 18 overs.

In came Dhoni and kicked off with a one-bounce four through extra cover, a most un-Dhoni-like six over the keeper’s head after walking across the stumps as Mohsin was bowling very wide of the crease. CSK were 157 for 6 after 19, with 15 from the 19th over.

The 19-run last over from Yash Thakur propelled CSK to 176 for 6 after Dhoni powered his way for 16 runs in the last four deliveries after just three runs came from the first two. Jadeja remained unbeaten on 57 in 40 deliveries with Dhoni scoring 28 in just nine deliveries.

For LSG, Pandya struck twice and Mohsin, Yash, Ravi and Stoinis claimed a wicket each.

Chasing a modest target of 177, Lucknow openers Rahul and de Kock gave a good start and added 32 runs in the first four overs. After Deepak Chahar’s three-run first over, Tushar Deshpande was smashed for nine in the second over and LSG raced away to 32 runs in four overs.

With the talk around Rahul’s strike rate in T20s especially in IPL, the LSG skipper raced to 34 off 20 with some classy strokes and led his team to 54 for no loss in the Power-play, along with de Kock, for their joint second-best Power-play score of the season. LSG and Rahul would have gained loads of confidence with plenty of strokes that he scored playing the aggressive role in the chase.

He has belted out his mighty pulls, classy drives, and perfectly-timed pick-up shots to set up the chase nicely. Rahul was nicely placed on 46 off 27 and de Kock scored 34 off 27 balls after the end of nine overs. LSG were 84 for no loss after nine — their best opening stand this IPL — and they needed 93 off 66.

Rahul was dealing with boundaries. He first played a cut shot past Jadeja to reach his fifty, off 31 balls. It was his 35th half-century in the IPL. Next ball, he sliced it just wide of point for another four, and that brought up LSG’s 100. As many as 14 runs came off Jadeja’s third over and CSK’s eleventh. LSG were 103 after 11 and need 74 off 54.

Until this match, CSK were the stranglers of the middle overs in this IPL, something that they showed in their last game against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede. Their economy rate of 7.03 in the middle overs before this match was well below the next best — Delhi Capitals’ 8.04, and CSK had also taken 21 wickets in this phase, only behind DC’s 22.

Pathirana had done a lot of work in the middle overs to make that happen but on Friday, like the rest of the bowling attack, the Sri Lankan was not as effective.

Rahul and de Kock cruised along for nearly 15 overs and CSK finally got a breakthrough as De Kock edged an off-cutter from Mustafizur Rahman behind to MS Dhoni for 54 off 43 and LSG were 134 for 1 after 15 overs.

LSG needed 43 from 30 and Nicholas Pooran joined his captain and straightaway sent his second ball for a maximum off Pathirana’s delivery. In the very next over he smoked Rahman for back-to-back boundaries and then Rahul ended the over with the third boundary of the over as Rahman gave away 15 runs in his last over of the spell. He ended his spell with figures of 1-43.

With 16 needed out of 18 deliveries, Jadeja guiding the backward point pulled out a screamer dicing to his left with a single-handed catch to dismiss Rahul on 82 off Pathirana’s delivery.

In came Marcus Stoinis at No. 4 and with the help of 15 runs of Tushar Deshpande’s last over of the spell, LSG won the match by eight wickets and six deliveries remaining. This was the highest successful chase at Ekana Cricket Stadium breaking the previous record of Delhi Capitals, who chased down a total of 168 runs against Lucknow Super Giants.

Brief scores:

Chennai Super Kings 176/6 in 20 overs (Ravindra Jadeja 57 not out, Ajinkya Rahane 36; Krunal Pandya 2-16, Marcus Stoinis 1-7) lost to Lucknow Super Giants 180/2 in 19 overs (K.L. Rahul 82, Quinton de Kock 54; Matheesa Pathirana 1-19, Mustafizur Rahman 1-43) by eight wickets.

–Ajit Weekly News

hs/bsk/


News Credits – I A N S

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