Openers, Moeen Ali star as Chennai Super Kings open account

Indian Premier League 2023

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Chennai Super Kings bounced back after their defeat in the opener against defending champions Gujarat Titans to beat Lucknow Super Giants in Match 6 of the TATA IPL at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai

Terrific Ruturaj Gaikwad sizzled again with 57 off 31 balls as he and Devon Conway (47 off 29) laid the platform with a 110-run stand. Ambati Rayudu (27 off 14) and MS Dhoni(12 off 3) provided the finishing touches to help CSK post a daunting 217/7. The CSK spinners, led by Moeen Ali (4/26) then spun a web around the LSG batters and restricted them to 205/7 to help achieve a 12-run win in their homecoming.

Chasing 218, Kyle Mayers picked up from where he left off in the last match and got off to a breezy start. He took the attack to Ben Stokes in the second over and hammered him for two fours and a six and then hit three fours off Deepak Chahar in the next over. CSK’s Impact Player Tushar Deshpande struggled in his first over as he gave away 18-runs in his first over which included two NO BALLS, three WIDES, one four and six each. Mayers didn’t spare Chahar as well, as he cracked a couple of fours off him. He reached his fifty off just 21 balls but departed soon as he looked to take on Moeen Ali but ended up holing out to Conway at deep mid-wicket. It was a huge wicket in the context of the game as he was looking in ominous touch.

LSG reached their highest Powerplay score at 80/1.

The spinners brought CSK back into the match as Mitchell Santner struck immediately after the Powerplay as he had Deepak Hooda caught at wide long on and in the next over, Moeen got the big one of Rahul (20 off 18), caught at deep mid-wicket and then had Krunal Pandya caught at long on.

Pooran released some pressure as he took the attack to Rajvardhan Hangargekar, hitting him for a six and a couple of fours. But Santner evened things out a bit with a tight three run over and finished a frugal spell of 4-0-21-1.

Moeen though wasn’t finished yet as he cleaned up Marcus Stoinis (21 off 18) in his final over and ended with brilliant figures of 4-0-26-4.

Pooran continued to fight as he smacked a couple of sixed off Ravindra Jadeja, including an outrageous and massive switch-hit six into the stands.

Impact Player Tushar Deshpande then provided a crucial moment in the match as he had Pooran (32 off 18) caught at long off in the 16th over and gave away just six runs.

With 62 needed from 24, K Gowtham and Ayush Badoni got 18 from the Chahar over which included a dropped catch of Gowtham. But Deshpande once again bowled a superb over to give away just 7 runs to bring the equation to 37 needed off 12. Hangargekar, who went for 15 in his first over then bounced back to give away nine in a crucial penultimate over as the CSK fielders made crucial stops on the field. Deshpande defended 28 off the last over, giving away 15 runs and picking the wicket of Badoni, as CSK won the match by 12 runs.

Earlier, Lucknow Super Giants captain KL Rahul won the toss and elected to bowl. They made one change to the side as Yash Thakur replaced Jaydev Unadkat. They named Daniel Sams, Prerak Mankad, Ayush Badoni, Jaydev Unadkat and Amit Mishra as their substitutes.

Chennai Super Kings, on the other hand, went unchanged. They named Tushar Deshpande, Subhranshu Senapati, Shaik Rasheed, Ajinkya Rahane and Dwaine Pretorius as their substitutes.

The CSK openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway got their team off to a solid start, scoring their highest Powerplay score at their home ground and adding 110 for the first wicket. They started watchfully as they dealt in singles and took six runs off the first over. The home side gained momentum in the second over as Avesh Khan started off with five WIDES, Ruturaj Gaikwad flicked one through mid-wicket for three and then Devon Conway crunched a couple of fours through point and cover to make it 17 off the over.

Gaikwad opened his boundary account as he placed a very full ball from Mayers through point for a four and pulled one over mid-wicket off Krunal Pandya for his second four as CSK reached 40/0 from four overs.

Gaikwad took on K Gowtham as he unleashed three beautiful lofts for three sixes to amass 20 runs off the over and bring up CSK’s fifty. Conway joined the party as he straightaway went after last match hero Mark Wood with three fours in a row. The second one seemed to take his top edge on the pull but the umpire signalled it four byes. Ruturaj flicked the penultimate ball for a six over deep backward square leg as the pair collected 19-runs off the over and posted CSK’s highest Powerplay score of 79/0 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Debutant Yash Thakur bowled a good first over and gave away just seven runs. Gaikwad then reached his fifty, second in a row, off just 25 balls as he got a rousing reception from the crowd. CSK picked up the scoring again as Conway heaved a couple of sixes over deep mid-wicket off Krunal Pandya to bring up the 100 for CSK in the 8th over.

LSG desperately needed to break the opening stand. KL Rahul brought on Ravi Bishnoi and he provided the breakthrough as he had Gaikwad (57 off 31) caught at short third man to provide some relief to LSG. Another brilliant piece of catching saw Krunal pull off a brilliant diving catch at deep mid-wicket to send back Conway (47 off 29) who top edged his pull off Wood.

LSG pulled things back a bit in a two-over phase conceding just 11 runs along with a wicket but then Shivam Dube finally pressed the accelerator button and hit a six and a four off Yash Thakur and then two consecutive monstrous sixes off Bishnoi. The LSG leg spinner though hit back hard and sent Dube back one ball later as he had him caught at short third man for 27(16).

Moeen got into the groove early with a hat-trick of well-placed fours against Avesh but the brilliant Bishnoi sent Moeen back with a googly which the CSK batter missed trying to charge and swing across the line.

Amid the CSK storm, Bishnoi finished with an excellent spell of 4-0-28-3.

The home team lost Ben Stokes cheaply but Ambiti Rayudu and MS Dhoni provided a late surge as they propelled CSK to 217/7. Rayudu hit a couple of sixes off Wood and then Dhoni made a special entry as he got a standing ovation and he smacked his first two balls for sixes off Wood before getting caught at deep point off the next ball in the final over. Rayudu remained unbeaten on 27 off 14 balls.

In the 20th over, LSG introduced Ayush Badoni as their Impact Player who replaced Avesh Khan. While CSK brought on Tushar Deshpande as their Impact Substitute in place of Ambati Rayudu at the start of their bowling innings.