With so much yellow in the grandstand to greet their skipper, MS Dhoni, the Chennai Super Kings faced the Lucknow Super Giants in what felt like a home game. After providing the returning Deepak Chahar some swing with the new ball, the pitch was a perfect ally for the CSK spin three of Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali, and Maheesh Theekshana. But because of a rain delay, each team had to be content with one point.
MS Dhoni, the captain of CSK, excels in situations like this and hardly ever makes a mistake. When the left-hander Krunal Pandya came out to bat in the fourth over, he added spin and got Ajinkya Rahane at slip for Theekshana. The remainder of the Lucknow Super Giants’ batting lineup had to adapt to the situation because their normal skipper KL Rahul was out injured.
Power hitters Kyle Mayers, Nicholas Pooran, and Marcus Stoinis from the Super Giants’ foreign roster had trouble adjusting to the playing surface. The Super Giants’ decision to play their home games on a surface that counteracted their advantages seemed counterproductive. the hosts had lost half of their team for 44 before the midway mark of the Powerplay, which ended with the score at 31/3 in terms of overs, the outcome of the innings was all but decided.
When considering CSK’s most valued assets, Moeen Ali may not be the first person who comes to mind, but the England all-rounder finds a way to contribute in every game. Despite one side of the pitch having a much closer distance to the rope, he answered with figures of 2/13 from his four overs without giving up a single boundary.
The off-spinner forced Mayers into a mistimed hit that led to his being caught far inside the long-off boundary. He then took a brilliant return catch as Karan Sharma rushed down the field and attempted to smash one over the bowler’s head. This was the turning point for the Super Giants.
Pooran was removed by Moeen with a brilliant catch at the edge of the circle after the 59-run partnership between him and the outstanding Ayush Badoni appeared poised to take on the bowlers in the final few overs. He doesn’t use any fancy techniques, such as doosras or carroms, instead reading the batter and the scenario to stay in the game.
On a pitch where everyone else struggled, Ayush Badoni took his time getting set up, but once he was in, he nearly toyed with the CSK bowlers. Even more impressively, he scored 20 runs off Chahar’s 19th over, the highlight being a six over wide long out after moving across the stumps in response to a full delivery outside off.
With a flat slog-sweep against Pathirana for six, Badoni launched the assault. He then repeated the maneuver in the bowler’s subsequent over. A boundary resulted after a cut past the point and a top-edged draw on Chahar. The seamer was once more the target and this time a maximum pull in front of the square was used. In the end, the rain decided to ruin everything.