Indian T20 Cricket League 2022: Lucknow overcome Chennai to record maiden win
By Devarchit Varma April 1, 2022
Quinton de Kock and Evin Lewis smacked fifties to help Indian T20 Cricket League 2022 new team Lucknow get the better of the four-time title winners and defending champions Chennai in the Match No 7 played at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday night.
Lucknow’s 6-wicket win was their first-ever in the history of the tournament as they have made their debut in the Indian T20 Cricket League only in the 2022 edition, whereas it was the second consecutive defeat for one of the most successful teams in the tournament, Chennai, who are in a transitional phase with M Dhonii being replaced as captain by all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.
There were a few reasons, however, for Chennai to celebrate despite the outcome. Their former captain Dhonii finished 200 dismissals as a wicketkeeper whereas Dwayne Bravo went past Indian T20 Cricket League legend Lasith Malinga as the tournament's highest wicket-taker.
But it was Chennai who won the driver’s seat until the penultimate over of the match. Lucknow were 34 runs away from victory with 2 more overs left in the contest. Even though the dew factor had kept the chasing team Lucknow in hand of their first victory Chennai were still ahead given that the margin of runs was perhaps a little too big.
But Lucknow’s Caribbean batsmen Lewis, who has been slotted in the middle-order despite him being a specialist opener, turned up the heat on all-rounder Shivam Dube, hammering the lanky Mumbai-based all-rounder for a couple of sixes and as many boundaries to collect 25 runs from just 6 balls, bringing down the equation to just 9 runs needed from the final over.
Lewis in the process brought up his half-century and eventually finished at 55 not out from 23 balls, having hit 3 sixes and 6 boundaries in the process.
Dube’s 19th over of the innings was responsible for the outcome of the match to some extent as he bowled deliveries that were in the slot for Lewis to smash, and the Caribbean batsmen did not miss out on connecting with each of those balls that were in his zone to hit.
This is where the dew factor came into play to its biggest impact in the contest, indicating the importance of winning the toss as no team wants to bat first, knowing that even a total more than 200 is not safe anymore.
The ball was wet and was skidding through the pitch and there was nothing that bowlers could have done through variations that they usually bowl in the stages of the match.
Dube tried sending down deliveries of those lengths that were difficult to hit but ended up serving balls in Lewis’ hitting zones.
The finishing touches were provided by the young Ayush Badoni, who finished at 19 not out from just nine balls with the help of 2 sixes, which came in the final over of the match from Chennai left-arm bowler Mukesh Choudhary.
Lucknow were also bolstered by a brilliant half-century from their South African wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, who cracked 9 boundaries to make 61 from 45 balls while adding 99 runs from 10.2 overs for the first wicket with their captain KL Rahul (40 from 25 balls).
Earlier in the contest, Chennai batsmen had done enough to give themselves the best chance of winning the contest by putting up a score which was daunting, given the conditions and the nature of the pitch at the Brabourne Stadium.
Robin Uthappa scored a brilliant half-century whereas Dube contributed with a valuable 49 as Chennai made most of the opportunity to rake up a total of 210/7 in their 20 overs.
The young Ruturaj Gaikwad had yet another failure when he was run out for 1 but the others in Uthappa, Moeen Ali (35), Shivam Dube (49), Ambati Rayudu (27), Ravindra Jadeja (17) and M Dhonii (16 not out) cashed in on the opportunity of getting runs on a conducive surface at the Brabourne Stadium.
Uthappa faced 27 balls and hit 8 boundaries and a six to score 50 whereas Dube was unfortunate to have missed out on his landmark by just 1 run, falling for 49 from 30 balls with the help of 5 boundaries and 2 sixes.
Moeen Ali was at his best once again, even though he dropped a crucial catch of Quinton De Kock later in the match. The English all-rounder scored 35 from 22 balls with 4 boundaries and a couple of sixes.
Former Chennai captain Dhonii began with a first-ball six and finished with 16 not out from 6 balls with a couple of boundaries more where as the incumbent Jadeja made 17 from nine balls with 3 boundaries before he was removed from the equation by Australian bowler Andrew Tye, who has replaced Englishman Mark Wood in the Lucknow squad for this Indian T20 Cricket League season.
Almost all Lucknow bowlers were punished by the Chennai batsmen but not legspinner Ravi Bishnoi, who was measly in his spell of 4-0-24-2. For Chennai, South Africa's Dwaine Pretorius was the most economical bowler returning with 2/31 from his 4 overs.
Chennai will now look to bounce back in their next match against Punjab to be played on April 3, whereas Lucknow will be seen in action against the struggling Hyderabad team on April
Devarchit Varma is a cricket writer and journalist with an experience of more than a decade, having worked at Hindustan Times (newspaper) and CricketCountry (website). Along with covering international and domestic cricket, he has also interviewed several current and former top players such as Rohit Sharma, Steve Smith, Dale Steyn, Michael Hussey, Jacques Kallis, Brendon McCullum, Shane Watson, Lasith Malinga and many more. He has also worked in other beats as a journalist in Bollywood (Reliance BigOye) and IT (SiliconIndia) industries.
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