De Kock, Lewis steer Lucknow to victory over Chennai in IPL

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Dwaine Pretorius celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of KL Rahul at the Brabourne Stadium on Thursday night. IPL Twitter photo

Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) rode on blazing half-centuries by Evin Lewis (55 off 23 deliveries) and Quinton de Kock (61 off 45) to beat Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by six wickets and register their first victory in the IPL 2022 at the Brabourne Stadium on Thursday.

Lucknow, who won the toss and elected to field hoping to avoid bowling in the dew, romped home to victory thanks to superb innings from Lewis and de Kock, and a 26-ball 40 by skipper KL Rahul. Lewis struck the fastest half-century of IPL 2022, off just 23 deliveries.

Earlier, Chennai rode on a breezy half-century by veteran Robin Uthappa and a fine 49 by local lad Shivam Dube to post 210/7 against Lucknow. Uthappa, promoted to the opener’s slot after CSK decided to drop New Zealand’s Devon Conway after he failed to click in the first match, provided CSK a superb start as he tore into Avesh Khan, Dushmantha Chameera and Andrew Tye, despite losing his opening partner Ruturaj Gaikwad early.

He found an able ally in English all-rounder Moeen Ali (35), who was playing his first match of this IPL edition after reaching India late due to visa issues. They added 50 runs for the second wicket in quick time as CSK crossed 50 in fifth over and were 73/1 at the end of the powerplay.

DeCock Quinton de Kock celebrates after scoring 50 against Chennai Super Kings on Thursday.

Dube capitalised on the platform provided by Uthappa, blasted a couple of huge sixes off the pacers as CSK went from strength to strength. He added 50 runs for the fourth wicket with Ambati Rayudu (27) runs and with skipper Ravindra Jadeja (17) and his predecessor MS Dhoni landing a couple of lusty blows late in the innings, CSK managed to cross the 200-run mark.

Uthappa gave CSK a flying start they were hoping for as he blasted three boundaries off Avesh Khan in his opening over. He handed Dushmantha Chameera in the same fashion, hitting the Sri Lankan pacer for a four and six in his first over.

Even though Ruturaj Gaikwad, who was one of the players retained by CSK following his brilliant batting last season, failed to click for the second successive match and proved the first breakthrough for Lucknow Super Giants, as he run out as he stepped out for a run after a massive appeal lbw.

Ravi Bishnoi caught him short with a direct hit. Uthappa continued in the same vein as he completed his 50 off 25 deliveries, hitting Avesh for a six in his second over and dispatching Andrew Tye for a couple of hits to the boundary. Uthappa added 50 runs for the second wicket with Moeen Ali (35), who too struck four boundaries and two sixes during his 22-ball stay at the wicket.

Dube continued where Uthappa left off, hitting a couple of massive sixes and five fours, contributing 49 runs off 30 balls as he made the most of batting in his hometown.

In the end the platform set up by Uthappa and Dube helped CSK cross the 200-run mark. But the question foremost on everyone’s mind now is whether that will be enough to defend with the dew impacting their bowling.

Meanwhile, the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is just five days into its over two-month schedule and the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are getting ready to play the third match of their campaign.

Having started with a stunning victory against defending champions Chennai Super Kings on the opening day, KKR slumped to a three-wicket defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the D.Y Patil Stadium on Wednesday.

On Friday, the Shreyas Iyer-led KKR will take on Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium, with both teams looking to register their second win in the event. Punjab Kings had started their campaign with a five-wickets win against RCB in their first match.

Though it is too early in the tournament, Punjab Kings will hope to maintain their good start. The Kings have not been that successful in the IPL, their best season was way back in 2014 when they reached the final, which improved on their third place in the inaugural edition in 2008.

Agencies

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