On the back of good efforts from Moeen Ali, Tushar Deshpande and Mitchell Santner, four-time champions Chennai Super Kings marked their grand homecoming to Chepauk in style with a 12-run victory over Lucknow Super Giants here on Monday.
After Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway shared a 110-run opening stand while Ambati Rayudu and captain M.S. Dhoni, along with Moeen and Shivam Dube, propelled CSK to reach 217/7, Kyle Mayers had threatened to steal their thunder with a 22-ball 53.
His efforts meant Lucknow reached 73/0 in five overs. But Moeen and Santner came in as LSG slipped to 82/3 in the eighth over. Moeen, who picked 4-26, and Santner, who returned with 1-21, kept things tight to bring Chennai back into the game.
Nicholas Pooran threatened to drive Lucknow to a late win, but Tushar Deshpande took him out as the visitors’ ended up at 205/7, with Chennai pocketing vital two points in a high-scoring game.
Chasing 218, Mayers welcomed Ben Stokes with back-to-back fours through the off-side, followed by a clean 86m six over long-off. Mayers made strokeplay look ridiculously easy, punching, pulling and driving against Deepak Chahar in the next over.
Mayers then put Tushar Deshpande under the pump, lofting over mid-off and muscling over long-on for four and six respectively as Lucknow reached their fifty. Chahar was again taken to the cleaners in the fifth over as Mayers and Rahul took 17 runs off the over, followed by the former reaching his fifty in 21 balls for the second time in as many matches.
But Moeen provided the breakthrough in the final over of Power-play, as Mayers slog-swept straight to deep mid-wicket. In the next over, Deepak Hooda couldn’t time his slog-sweep and holed out to long-on. Rahul went for slog-sweep too and picked out deep mid-wicket.
Krunal Pandya and Marcus Stoinis tried to resurrect the chase with a six each, but the former miscued the slog to long-on off Moeen while the latter saw his leg-stump being rattled by the off-spinner.
But Pooran kept the chase alive for Lucknow, teeing off with a six and two fours off Rajvardhan Hangargekar. He then flat-batted a six over extra cover off Ravindra Jadeja and followed it up by reverse-sweeping over the point for another six.
Pooran’s blitz came to an end when his lofted drive was caught by long-off against Deshpande. He would take out Ayush Badoni in the final over though he gave away 15 runs, but by then the match was in Chennai’s favour.
Chennai Super Kings 217/7 in 20 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 57, Devon Conway 47; Ravi Bishnoi 3-28, Mark Wood 3-49) beat Lucknow Super Giants 205/7 in 20 overs (Kyle Mayers 53, Nicholas Pooran 32; Moeen Ali 4-26, Tushar Deshpande 2-45) by 12 runs