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Rahul Or Dhoni? Who Batted Best? Vote!

April 20, 2024 08:45 IST
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KL Rahul

The Ekana stadium in Lucknow witnessed a thrilling IPL match on Friday, April 19, 2024, night.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's explosive knock propelled the Chennai Super Kings to a competitive 176/6. However, the home team, the Lucknow Super Giants, chased down the target with ease, thanks to a brilliant 82 run knock (53 balls) from their captain K L Rahul, who turned 32 the previous day.

LSG got the party started even before the match with some cheeky posters welcoming Dhoni. The posters humorously wished Dhoni well, but hoped his six-hitting prowess wouldn't lead CSK to victory. This lighthearted exchange added to the excitement building in the stadium.

Once the match began, the script belonged to LSG. Their openers, Rahul and Quinton de Kock, stitched together a dominant century partnership, completely smothering the CSK bowling attack.

With such a solid foundation laid, the chase became a mere formality for LSG, showcasing their dominance throughout the tournament.

The best knocks of the match:


K L Rahul

KL Rahul

Rahul single-handedly shifted the momentum in LSG's favour on Friday night, smashing a magnificent 82 runs off just 53 balls adorned with 9 fours and 3 sixes. His innings was a masterclass in controlled aggression, dismantling CSK's bowling attack with a delightful display of strokeplay.

Gone were the LSG batting woes of previous matches. Rahul ensured a rapid start, collecting 12 runs off Deepak Chahar's second over, including a soaring six over midwicket. He continued the onslaught against Mustafizur Rahman and combined beautifully with Quinton de Kock to amass a match-winning 100-run partnership in just 10.5 overs.

Rahul's knock was a symphony of well-timed shots. He dispatched short balls with ease, drove powerfully down the ground, and even audaciously uppercut the express pace of Matheesha Pathirana for a six.

By the end of the Powerplay, LSG had raced to 54 runs, effectively dwarfing the required run rate. The partnership with de Kock comfortably took them to 89/0 at the halfway mark. After de Kock's dismissal, Rahul looked destined for a century, but a stunning one-handed catch by Ravindra Jadeja at backward point ended his glorious innings 18 runs short.

While Rahul's dismissal might have caused a slight hiccup, Nicholas Pooran's aggressive knock ensured LSG crossed the finish line comfortably with eight wickets and an over to spare.

Quinton de Kock

Quinton de Kock

De Kock played a crucial role in LSG's dominant chase, forming a match-winning partnership with Rahul. Together, they shut the door on any potential CSK pressure, stitching together a 134 run stand in just 15 overs.

De Kock's knock wasn't without its drama. A miscue off Jadeja in the ninth over could have resulted in his dismissal, but a dropped catch by Pathirana at short third gifted him a second life. De Kock batting on 31 then capitalised on the opportunity, punishing Jadeja in the next over with a boundary and watching as Rahul joined the party with back-to-back fours.

He didn't shy away from contributing his share of firepower. After a brief period of consolidation, de Kock reached his well-deserved fifty, showcasing his ability to pace the chase alongside the aggressive Rahul.

Though his dismissal came via a miscued pull shot off Mustafizur Rahman, his knock (54 off 43 balls) had already done significant damage, putting LSG firmly in control.

While the spotlight might fall on Rahul's blistering innings, de Kock's contribution as a steady partner and a fifty-scoring batsman shouldn't be overlooked.

Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja

Jadeja emerged as the lone warrior for CSK in their batting innings against LSG. Promoted to the crucial No. 4 position, Jadeja steadied a shaky CSK batting order after they lost their openers early.

CSK found themselves in a precarious situation after losing Ruturaj Gaikwad and Rachin Ravindra within the powerplay. This prompted them to send in Jadeja earlier than usual, hoping to stabilise the innings.

Jadeja didn't disappoint. He played a composed knock, collecting boundaries and keeping the scoreboard ticking. He wasn't afraid to take on the spinners, finding gaps against Krunal Pandya and Ravi Bishnoi.

However, Jadeja's fight lacked support from the other end. Shivam Dube miscued a short ball, and Sameer Rizvi fell victim to a well-executed stumping. Suddenly, CSK found themselves reeling at 93/5 after 13 overs.

Despite the middle-order collapse, Jadeja continued to anchor the innings. He broke a 34-ball boundary drought in the 16th over and reached his fifty with a six off Mohsin Khan.

While the final push came from the explosive duo of M S Dhoni and Moeen Ali, it was Jadeja's innings that truly kept CSK afloat. His unbeaten 57 runs off 40 balls proved to be the backbone of their competitive total of 176/6.

M S Dhoni

MS Dhoni

While the early stages of CSK's innings against LSG were a slow burn, the arrival of Dhoni at the crease completely transformed the scene. The 42-year-old veteran wasn't there to simply soak up the atmosphere; he was there to unleash a six-hitting masterclass.

Despite starting slow with a single off his first ball, Dhoni feasted on the inexperience of young bowlers Mohsin Khan and Yash Thakur. He unleashed a trademark Dhoni six, a rare but audacious lap shot over the 'keeper's head, and some powerful boundaries to the extra cover region.

His 9-ball blitz yielded a staggering 28 runs, a testament to his enduring power-hitting prowess. This late surge earned Dhoni the distinction of having the highest strike rate (255.88) among all wicket-keepers in the IPL this season.

While Dhoni's knock was a spectacle in itself, it ultimately wasn't enough to secure victory for CSK. The team's earlier batting struggles meant 176/6 proved insufficient against a dominant LSG batting performance.

Rahul Or Dhoni? Who Batted Best? Vote!

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