Ayush Badoni stood tall amidst the ruins with a classy half-century on a poor surface before a sharp downpour forced Lucknow Super Giants and Chennai Super Kings to split points as their IPL match was called off on Wednesday.
This is the first game in the 16th edition of IPL that had to be called off midway due to rain.
Rain stopped play in the 20th over, but by then Badoni, who came in at 44 for 5 had put his team in a position of respectability on a very difficult surface.
Badoni, smashed two fours and four sixes in his 33-ball-59 and his temperament on a surface conducive for slow bowlers was worth its weight in gold as it didn’t seem at one point that LSG could cross the 125-run mark.
With 11 points from 10 games, LSG and CSK are placed second and third on points table respectively. LSG (+0.639) have a better net run-rate compared to CSK (+0.329).
It was a good toss to win for Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the CSK skipper’s decision to bowl first was vindicated by his bowlers on a surface that is certainly not good enough for an absorbing T20 contest.
Most of the balls were gripping off the surface and the batters found it extremely difficult to hit through the line, unlike in other surfaces as Moeen Ali 2/13 in 4 overs), Ravindra Jadeja (1/11 in 3 overs) and Maheesh Theekshana (2/37 in 4 overs) kept them under tight leash and also got wickets at regular intervals.
Such was their dominance that the first six of the innings came in the 15th over when Badoni, coming in at No.7, slog-swept Sri Lankan spinner Theekshana over mid-wicket and got another maximum in the next over to get some momentum going for his team.
Dhoni, who rightly assessed the track as “tacky”, got Moeen into the attack in the fourth over and a flighted delivery, inviting Kyle Mayers (14) to break the shackles did the trick as he could only mistime a skier to Ruturaj Gaikwad in the deep.
Manan Vohra (10) tried a non-existent lap-shot and Krunal Pandya was snapped at slip by Ajinkya Rahane.
The ball of the innings was certainly bowled by Jadeja, who got one to turn sharply as Marcus Stoinis drew forward only to find the ball turn sharply past his outside edge and peg the off-stump.
Karan Sharma’s 16-ball stay for a painstaking 9 was indeed a struggle before he offered a return catch to Moeen Ali.
Badoni and Nicholas Pooran (20) then added 59 for the sixth wicket.