6th Match (N), Chennai, April 03, 2023, Indian Premier League

CSK won by 12 runs

Player Of The Match
19 (13) & 4/26
Cricinfo's MVP
123.3 ptsImpact List

Gaikwad, Conway and Moeen give CSK a happy homecoming

They powered their way to 217 before the spinners strangled Lucknow Super Giants in their chase

Shashank Kishore
Shashank Kishore
Chennai Super Kings 217 for 7 (Gaikwad 57, Conway 47, Bishnoi 3-28, Wood 3-49) beat Lucknow Super Giants 205 for 7 (Mayers 53, Pooran 32, Moeen 4-26) by 12 runs
A game high on entertainment ended with 35,000 boisterous fans celebrating Chennai Super Kings' and MS Dhoni's grand homecoming in style.
Despite piling up 217, the highest score of the season so far, the Super Kings had threatened to get outmuscled at one stage. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway had helped Super Kings set a new record for the highest powerplay score at the MA Chidambaram Stadium - 79 for no loss - only for Lucknow Super Giants to better that score by one run.
But Kyle Mayers, who had been responsible for that blazing start, fell in the sixth over to Moeen Ali, Dhoni's trademark 'spin it to win it' mantra took over on a surface where dew - which Super Giants captain KL Rahul had believed would play a part in the chase - hardly had an effect.
The spin duo of Moeen and Mitchell Santner ended up with magical combined figures of 5 for 47 off eight overs to turn the game around. Moeen, who hadn't been called upon to bowl in Super Kings' tournament opener, finished with 4 for 26, with Rahul, Mayers and Marcus Stoinis among his victims.
The Moeen effect covered up for a nightmarish start for the seamers, most notably for Deepak Chahar and Impact Player Tushar Deshpande, who conceded 55 in four wicketless overs between them inside the first 10 overs.
But Deshpande redeemed himself with the key wicket of Nicholas Pooran, who threatened to pull off a coup, with Super Giants needing 62 off 25 balls. That, right there, was the game, which Super Kings closed out to eventually win by 12 runs.

Gaikwad tees off, Conway follows

Gaikwad began the season with a 50-ball 92 in Ahmedabad, and his follow-up was an equally blistering knock high on aesthetic value. This half-century came off 25 balls, as Gaikwad announced himself in his very first outing at Chepauk.
The highlight was the three sixes he hit in K Gowtham's first over, the fifth of the innings. This included a straight hit off the backfoot and an inside-out six over extra cover.
Conway wasn't far behind. He began with crunching off-drives off Avesh Khan and Mark Wood to get into full rhythm, and then unleashed a ferocious slog-sweep off Krunal Pandya. The pair brought up a century opening stand in eight overs with that hit.

Bishnoi makes a grand entry

Ravi Bishnoi had Super Giants heaving a sigh of relief when he struck with his first delivery in the 10th over. Gaikwad was deceived in the air and off the pitch as his slog landed in a backpedalling short third's hand. One brought two when Wood had Conway with a short ball that he miscued to deep square, where Krunal Pandya's athleticism made the catch possible.
Super Kings promoted Shivam Dube to No. 3, ahead of Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes, and he pottered to 5 off 10 before picking up the scoring. He hit Bishnoi for back-to-back sixes in the 14th over, before falling in the same over to a wrong'un while attempting a slog to the short leg-side boundary. Bishnoi would complete a key spell by picking up Moeen in his next over to finish with 3 for 28 off his four overs.

The Dhoni finish

Only twice in his 15-year IPL career has Dhoni hit the first ball of his innings for six; Super Giants have borne the brunt both times. Having come in with six balls left, he slashed Wood over third man for his first six. Then, in a shot somewhat reminiscent of Sachin Tendulkar's pull off Andrew Caddick at Durban at the 2003 World Cup, he got into position and swatted a pull that sailed over deep square leg. He now had the crowd expecting another, but that wasn't to be. When he sliced a catch to deep point, the party was over, but he had helped Super Kings blast their way to 217 for 7.

Moeen slices through LSG after Mayers' blast

Mayers has a touch of Chris Gayle to him. His reach, his ability to pick lengths early and swing through the line brought him massive returns as he went after Super Kings' erratic pacers. Chahar found no swing and Deshpande struggled for accuracy. Super Giants rushed to 73 for 0 in the first five overs. But Super Kings stormed back with three quick wickets from overs six to eight.
Mayers, who brought up a 21-ball half-century, and Rahul holed out to deep midwicket, while Deepak Hooda heaved one to long-on. Moeen and Santner were right in the game and Dhoni was able to exercise the kind of control he loves. Krunal Pandya and Marcus Stoinis continued to attack, but the enormity of the task at hand meant they had to keep taking their chances which eventually led to their downfall.

Deshpande redeems himself

A left-arm spinner to a left-hander is a match-up not quite up Dhoni's alley. But because the pacers had all proved expensive, and Moeen and Santner had bowled out, Dhoni had no option but to go to Ravindra Jadeja in the 15th over. It didn't help that Pooran was in sensational form.
After flat-batting Jadeja for a six over extra-cover, he followed up by reverse-sweeping a dart for a 97-metre six over the point boundary. It brought Super Giants' equation down to 68 off 30. Deshpande, who was then brought on for his second over, delivered a telling blow, getting Pooran caught at long-off in an over that went for just six runs.
That, right there, was the game for the Super Kings.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Win Probability
CSK 100%
100%50%100%CSK InningsLSG Innings

Over 20 • LSG 205/7

Ayush Badoni c †Dhoni b Deshpande 23 (18b 0x4 0x6 38m) SR: 127.77
CSK won by 12 runs
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