IPL 2024: Marcus Stoinis trumps Ruturaj Gaikwad-Shivam Dube tango as LSG beat CSK at home | Crickit
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IPL 2024: Marcus Stoinis trumps Ruturaj Gaikwad-Shivam Dube tango as LSG beat CSK at home

By, Kolkata
Apr 24, 2024 04:08 AM IST

Hits 124, the highest score in an IPL chase, in a six-wicket win at Chepauk

Chasing 210 at any other venue isn’t the same as doing it at the Chepauk. But Marcus Stoinis probably didn’t get that memo. Needing 17 off the last over, Stoinis carted an attempted yorker from Mustafizur Rahman for six before stepping across and muscling the next ball over Rahman’s head for four. He threw the kicthen sink at a low full toss and got a streaky boundary but it didn’t matter as long as Lucknow Super Giants went from the cusp of defeat to the brink of victory. Another four, this time pulling Rahman over short fine-leg, and Stoinis had done the almost unthinkable, breaching Chennai Super Kings’ fortress.

Lucknow Super Giants batter Marcus Stoinis celebrates after winning the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 cricket match over Chennai Super Kings, at MA Chidambaram Stadium, in Chennai(PTI)
Lucknow Super Giants batter Marcus Stoinis celebrates after winning the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 cricket match over Chennai Super Kings, at MA Chidambaram Stadium, in Chennai(PTI)

That boundary was the finishing touch to a 63-ball 124 that is now the highest individual score in an IPL chase, bettering Paul Valthaty's 120* in 2011, also against CSK. In the process also emerged two magnificent partnerships — 70 off 34 balls with Nicholas Pooran and then an unbeaten 55-run stand off 19 balls with Deepak Hooda. This was beyond unthinkable given at one point LSG needed 123 from 54 balls. But so assured have batters become in the final phase of the innings these days that no score seems too tall for them.

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ALSO READ: Ruturaj Gaikwad shatters MS Dhoni's record, becomes first CSK captain to score IPL century

Losing the top three within 11 overs while chasing 210 would have nixed the hopes for most teams. But not LSG, where Pooran comes at No.5. By then, Stoinis had steadied the ship, going after Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali before training his sights on Tushar Deshpande. A crisply driven four off Matheesha Pathirana was a nice warmup to what was to come as Pooran bludgeoned Shardul Thakur for 6,4,6 before he holed out next over. Stoinis maintained the momentum by carting Rahman for two sixes in the 18th over to bring down the equation to 32 from 12.

It completely negated the impact Shivam Dube and Ruturaj Gaikwad had had on LSG, adding 104 runs from just 47 balls for the fourth wicket. Dube kickstarted that mayhem with a hattrick of sixes, all off Yash Thakur, only all of it was premeditated. “Rutu needed one over to recover after playing for a long time so I decided to take the bowler on,” Dube told the broadcasters during the innings break. Seven sixes — as opposed to a paltry three boundaries — were just returns for Dube’s bravado but it was just the headline act of that innings.

At the other end persevered Gaikwad, in a rhythm that seemed to take off from where he had left against Mumbai Indians with a 40-ball 69. Taking 28 balls to reach his fifty was an encouraging indication of Gaikwad’s recalibrated batting approach, but it still comprised only fours, though seven of them. In the next fifty—again off another 28 balls—came three sixes now, twice over deep midwicket before targeting long-on. To not let the run rate drop throughout the innings was an assuring hallmark of Gaikwad’s second IPL hundred, but more promising was the way he switched to aerial shots towards the end. If making a start count is one of the marks openers still strive to hit, Gaikwad showed how exactly it must be achieved.

This wasn’t a tacky Chennai pitch but also not a 200-plus track too. “I think we are 10-15 runs over,” said Dube. He was responsible for bulk of the sixes hit in a 104-run partnership off just 47 balls but Gaikwad embodied the anchor that steered CSK throughout almost the entire innings. Much has been rightly made out of Dube’s strike rate of 170 in the death overs, but more impactful is Gaikwad—with a strike rate of 203 in T20s—during this phase. And it showed too, right from the six he pulled Mohsin Khan to begin the slog overs with a six to hitting Yash Thakur for 6,4,4 and reach a majestic hundred. Seventy-five runs had been scored off the last five overs as a result, bulk of it coming off Dube’s bat but not without some help from Gaikwad.

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