Overseas professionals Evin Lewis and Quinton de Kock’s half-centuries propelled the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) to their first-ever Indian T20 League win. Despite chasing a mammoth total of 210, the debutants stunned four-time winners, Chennai by 6 wickets at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. In the end, Lewis walked away with the Player of the Match award for his blazing 55 off 23 balls.
Both teams came into this contest after losing their opening matches. Given the batting-friendly conditions at Brabourne, LSG won the all-important toss and decided to bowl first. Although they got the crucial wicket of Ruturaj Gaikwad through Ravi Bishnoi’s brilliance in the field, Robin Uthappa and Moeen Ali kept the scorecard ticking with quick runs. At the end of the powerplay, Chennai were 73 for 1.
Once the field restrictions got lifted, Bishnoi and Avesh Khan struck in quick succession to remove Uthappa (50) and Moeen (35). That said, Shivam Dube, who got promoted continued throwing caution to the wind, as Chennai reached the 100 run-mark inside 10 overs.
Along with Dube (49), seasoned campaigners Ambati Rayudu (27) and Ravindra Jadeja (17) too chipped in with useful contributions to push Chennai closer to a total of 200. However, it was MS Dhoni’s lusty blows in the penultimate over that saw the Men in Yellow reach a total of 210.
In response, the Super Giants also got off the blocks in style with openers KL Rahul and de Kock going hell for leather in the powerplay. As the inexperienced Chennai seamers struggled for discipline, the Lucknow openers made merry. At the halfway stage, LSG raced to 90, with Rahul on 40 and de Kock on 51.
Just when it appeared that the debutants were on top, the departure of openers and Manish Pandey suddenly opened up the game. As wickets kept tumbling, Lewis not only held firm but also kept up with the asking rate. Deepak Hooda too made his presence felt with a few big blows. However, his wicket in the 18th over slightly titled the game in Chennai’s favour.
In the end, the onslaught by Lewis off Dube, where he smashed 25-runs in the penultimate over ambushed Chennai. With nine required off the last over, Lucknow had little problems in closing out the chase and won the match with three balls to spare.
Chennai Super Kings 210/7 in 20 overs (Robin Uthappa 50, Shivam Dube 49, Dwaine Pretorius 2 for 31) lose to Lucknow Super Giants 211/4 in 19 overs (Quinton de Kock 61, Evin Lewis 55, Ravi Bishnoi 2 for 24) by 6 wickets.