LSG Vs CSK, IPL 2024: KL Rahul Leads Way As Hosts Hand Chennai Eight-Wicket Thrashing

Lucknow Super Giants captain KL Rahul (82) and his opening partner Quinton de Kock (54) put together a 134-run stand, the highest for any wicket at the Ekana Stadium. The hosts breached Chennai Super Kings' 177-run target in 19 overs to recover from back-to-back losses in Indian Premier League 2024

Lucknow Super Giants captain KL Rahul, left, and his batting partner Quinton de Kock run between the wickets during their Indian Premier League 2024 match against Chennai Super Kings in Lucknow on April 19. Photo: AP

Openers KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock, who made classy fifties on a slow pitch, produced a chasing masterclass to power Lucknow Super Giants to a comfortable eight-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings in their IPL match in Lucknow on Friday. (As It Happened | Scorecard)

Asked to bat first, Ravindra Jadeja came up with a solid unbeaten 57 before Moeen Ali (30 off 20) and MS Dhoni (28 off 9) went on a six-hitting spree to take CSK to a fighting 176 for six.

In reply, Rahul (82) and De Kock (54) batted with authority during their match-winning alliance of 134, the highest partnership for any wicket at the Ekana Stadium, as LSG scored 180 for 2 in 19 overs to recover from back-to-back loss and consolidate their position in the table.

CSK, who came into the match with twin wins, on the other hand, slumped to their third loss in this IPL.

Guilty of not capitalising on his starts, Rahul finally lived up to the expectations, smashing nine fours and three sixes in 53 balls, while De Kock overcame a scratchy start to hit five fours and a six in his 43-ball knock.

Chasing 177, Rahul was the aggressor as he played some magnificent strokes to give LSG a flying start.

The skipper was harsh on Deepak Chahar as he pulled the pacer for a six, before slapping him for another maximum over cover. He also hit him for a four off a slower delivery.

Rahul also produced a punch off the back-foot for a boundary off pacer Mustafizur Rahman as runs came thick and fast.

De Kock too smashed Tushar Deshpande for a maximum over deep midwicket as the powerplay yielded 54 for 0.

Rahul next sent a short-pitched ball from pacer Matheesha Pathirana over the third man for another maximum and the bowler was left further demoralised when he dropped De Kock's catch at short third man off Jadeja in the ninth over.

After 10 overs, LSG were 89 for no loss.

Rahul notched up his 35th fifty with a four off Jadeja in the 11th over and then picked up another boundary to complete a 100-run opening stand with De Kock.

De Kock, who was subdued in the last three games, then reached his fifty in the 15th over with a single off Mustafizur, who removed him in the last ball.

However, Nicholas Pooran came out with all cylinders blazing, slamming Pathirana for a maximum, before sending Mustafizur on a leather hunt.

A one-handed catch from Jadeja finally ended Rahul's fabulous knock but it was too late as Pooran (23 not out) and Marcus Stoinis (8 not out) knocked off the remaining runs.

Earlier, Rahul was spot on with his bowling changes as the pacers put the CSK batters under pressure initially before spinner Krunal Pandya tightened the noose in the middle overs.

Opener Rachin Ravindra's (0) awful run continued as left-arm pacer Mohsin rattled his stumps, while Ruturaj Gaikwad (17) fell to Yash Thakur, who induced an outside edge from the CSK skipper.

Rahane (36), who opened the innings again, played some exquisite shots, pulling LSG debutant Matt Henry for the first six of their innings as 13 came off that over.

The Mumbaikar also carted two fours off Thakur to accumulate another 13 runs in the fifth over.

Jadeja, promoted to no. 4, picked a boundary off Henry in the next over as CSK scored 52 for 2 in the first six overs.

Owing to the slowness of the track, LSG skipper immediately introduced spinners Krunal and Bishnoi and the former struck in his second over, cleaning up Rahane.

CSK's man-in-form Shivam Dube too failed to fire with Stoinis (1/7) justifying Rahul's decision to hand over the ball to him, striking in his first ball as the left-handed batter sliced one up in the air.

Krunal then returned to dismiss impact player Sameer Rizvi, who paid the price for his premeditated dance down the track as CSK lost half their side with 90 on board.

Jadeja, who played some cracking sweep shots, held one end up and completed his fifty with a six off Mohsin to bring out his trademark sword-wielding celebration.

Rahul's decision to give another over to Bishnoi, however, backfired as Moeen slammed three sixes as 19 came off the 18th over before perishing.

LSG paid the price for a sloppy overrate as Dhoni slammed a four and a six off Mohsin before smashing Thakur for another maximum. He finished the innings with two more fours as 19 came off the last over.