LSG vs CSK, IPL 2024: KL Rahul, Quinton de Kock power Lucknow to 8-wicket win over Chennai

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LSG vs CSK, IPL 2024: Lucknow Super Giants registered their fourth win of the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 at their home ground with an eight-wicket triumph over Chennai Super Kings. CSK put on 176 and the target was chased by the hosts in fine style as they rallied to a win at the Bharat Ratna Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow.

A sea of yellow greeted CSK at Lucknow. They received a warm welcome right from the time they landed at the airport, thanks to the fanfare of MS Dhoni. The legendary wicketkeeper-batter lived up to the crowd’s hopes with an entertaining knock that propelled the visitors to 176 for six. Dhoni walked in with two overs left and faced nine balls for his 28 runs. During that innings, the crowd rejoiced and welcomed every boundary as Dhoni cleared the fence twice and hit three fours.

At one stage, 176 looked unlikely as CSK had lost wickets at regular intervals during their innings. Ravindra Jadeja, who batted at No. 4, held the innings together with an unbeaten 57 off 40 balls. Jadeja had walked in when CSK lost two early wickets inside the powerplay and were 33 for two in the fifth over. Rachin Ravindra was bowled first ball by Mohsin Khan and Ruturaj Gaikwad edged one to KL Rahul off Yash Thakur.

Ajinkya Rahane (36 off 24 balls) started fluently and played some elegant shots, picking five fours and a six. Alongside Jadeja, it looked like they were building a partnership with 29 off 19 balls. That was when LSG introduced Krunal Pandya, whose spell changed the complexion of the game for LSG. To begin with, he bowled Rahane with a ball that foxed him through the air as he tried an expansive shot.

The in-form Shivam Dube walked in and CSK fans expected an encore of his recent performances. LSG did well to restrict him and did not allow him to free his arms and play big shots. Marcus Stoinis got rid of Dube with a short ball outside off-stump. The batter tried to pull it but only managed to top-edge it.

Sameer Rizvi was brought in as the Impact Player in place of Rahane. This move did not work as Pandya snapped his wicket by inviting him down the track to a big shot, only to be stumped by Rahul. At 90 for five in the 13th over, CSK were in trouble.

Moeen Ali and Jadeja constructed a good partnership that rallied CSK and lifted them out of the muddle. They put on 51 off 33 balls. Moeen was the dominant scorer in that stand with 30 runs including three sixes.

Dhoni then added the finishing touches with a much-talked about cameo towards the end. Considering the fact that LSG had defended a similar total against Gujarat Titans, CSK may have felt they had a chance.

In reply, LSG completely dominated the CSK bowling with Rahul taking the initiative early on. The captain decided to attack from the outset and make a statement in the powerplay. Deepak Chahar was hit for two sixes, one over long-on and one beautifully timed over cover. Quinton de Kock too got going with a huge six over mid-wicket off Tushar Deshpande in the fifth over. LSG raced to 54 in the powerplay.

CSK introduced Jadeja and Matheesha Pathirana after the powerplay. Rahul imposed himself again  by attacking the tricky Pathirana as he upper-cut one for six.

De Kock had some fortune go his way when a top-edge off Jadeja was dropped by Pathirana. In the 11th over, LSG raced to their 100 when Rahul hit three fours off Jadeja. The LSG openers rallied as the required rate came down. Rahul had gotten past his fifty and was soon followed by de Kock, who got there in the 15th over. De Kock was ultimately dismissed by Mustafizur Rahman, edging one to Dhoni. By then, LSG needed 43 off the last five overs.

Nicholas Pooran and Rahul steered the innings from that point. Pooran started off with an imposing six off Pathirana, and whenever CSK thought they would apply pressure, he would pick a boundary. Rahul was dismissed on 82 in the 18th over when he cut Pathirana to point, where Jadeja took a brilliant one-handed catch, flying to his right.

Stoinis and Pooran got the required 16 runs without much trouble and took LSG home with an over to spare.

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