IPL 2024: Rahul, de Kock help Lucknow overpower Chennai by eight wickets

 K L Rahul and Quinton de Kock added 154 runs for the opening wicket as Lucknow Super Giants beat Chennai Super Kings by eight wickets in the highest successful run chase at Ekana Cricket Stadium here on Friday.

Chasing a modest target of 177, Lucknow openers Rahul and de Kock gave a good start and added 32 runs in the first four overs. After Deepak Chahar’s three-run first over, Tushar Deshpande was smashed for nine in the second over and LSG raced away to 32 runs in four overs.

With the talk around Rahul’s strike rate in T20s especially in IPL, the LSG skipper raced to 34 off 20 with some classy strokes and led his team to 54 for no loss in the Power-play, along with de Kock, for their joint second-best Power-play score of the season. LSG and Rahul would have gained loads of confidence with plenty of strokes that he scored playing the aggressive role in the chase. He has belted out his mighty pulls, classy drives, and perfectly timed pick-up shots to set up the chase nicely. Rahul was nicely placed on 46 off 27 and de Kock scored 34 off 27 balls after the end of nine overs. LSG were 84 for no loss after nine — their best opening stands this IPL — and they needed 93 off 66.

Rahul was dealing with boundaries. He first played a cut shot past Jadeja to reach his fifty, off 31 balls. It was his 35th half-century in the IPL. Next ball, he sliced it just wide of point for another four, and that brought up LSG’s 100. As many as 14 runs came off Jadeja’s third over and CSK’s eleventh. LSG were 103 after 11 and need 74 off 54.

Until this match, CSK were the stranglers of the middle overs in this IPL, something that they showed in their last game against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede. Their economy rate of 7.03 in the middle overs before this match was well below the next best — Delhi Capitals’ 8.04, and CSK had also taken 21 wickets in this phase, only behind DC’s 22. Pathirana had done a lot of work in the middle overs to make that happen but on Friday, like the rest of the bowling attack, the Sri Lankan was not as effective.

Rahul and de Kock cruised along for nearly 15 overs and CSK finally got a breakthrough as De Kock edged an off-cutter from Mustafizur Rahman behind to MS Dhoni for 54 off 43 and LSG were 134 for 1 after 15 overs.

LSG needed 43 from 30 and Nicholas Pooran joined his captain and straightaway sent his second ball for a maximum off Pathirana’s delivery. In the very next over he smoked Rahman for back-to-back boundaries and then Rahul ended the over with the third boundary of the over as Rahman gave away 15 runs in his last over of the spell. He ended his spell with figures of 1-43.

With 16 needed out of 18 deliveries, Jadeja guiding the backward point pulled out a screamer dicing to his left with a single-handed catch to dismiss Rahul on 82 off Pathirana’s delivery.

In came Marcus Stoinis at No. 4 and with the help of 15 runs of Tushar Deshpande’s last over of the spell, LSG won the match by eight wickets and six deliveries remaining. This was the highest successful chase at Ekana Cricket Stadium breaking the previous record of Delhi Capitals, who chased down a total of 168 runs against Lucknow Super Giants.

Brief scores:

Chennai Super Kings 176/6 in 20 overs (Ravindra Jadeja 57 not out, Ajinkya Rahane 36; Krunal Pandya 2-16, Marcus Stoinis 1-7) lost to Lucknow Super Giants 180/2 in 19 overs (K.L. Rahul 82, Quinton de Kock 54; Matheesa Pathirana 1-19, Mustafizur Rahman 1-43) by eight wickets.

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