After Ruturaj Gaikwad (57) and Devon Conway’s (47) fireworks at the top, Moeen Ali (four for 26) delivered with the ball, taking four wickets, as Chennai Super Kings defeated Lucknow Super Giants by 12 runs to post its first win of the IPL (Indian Premier League) here on Monday.
Asked to bat, Super Kings made 217 for seven, thanks to the turbo-charged 110-run opening partnership between Gaikwad and Conway.
There were 11 sixes in the first 19 overs of the Chennai Super Kings innings. But it was the maximums off the second and third deliveries of the final over that mattered the most for the capacity crowd which had turned out at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.
MS Dhoni walked in to a rapturous welcome with five balls remaining. He immediately smashed pacer Mark Wood over the third-man boundary off his first ball and pulled the next one over mid-wicket. Though the CSK skipper fell immediately — he was caught at deep point — it was worth the wait for the fans as he helped the host finish strongly.
Chasing 218, Super Giants got off to a flyer with Kyle Mayers (53, 23b, 8x4, 2x6) plundering boundaries. But just like it has always done, Super Kings fought back in the way it knows best - with its spinners Ali and Mitchell Santner (one for 21).
The English off-spinner derailed LSG’s chase when he had Mayers, KL Rahul and Krunal Pandya in his first three overs, all caught in the deep.
Earlier, Gaikwad began with a few boundaries off the pacers before turning his attention to off-spinner K. Gowtham, smashing him for three sixes down the ground in the fifth over.
At the other end, Conway joined the act and caught up with Gaikwad, cracking Krunal for two sixes over long-on as Super Kings reached the 100-run mark in eight overs.
Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi pulled things back for the visitor with a tight spell (three for 28). Despite losing wickets at regular intervals, Super Kings never took the foot off the accelerator and went past 200.
But it was the two sixes by Dhoni that excited the fans the most as Super Kings celebrated their first home game in four years with a victory.
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