Experienced Deepak Hooda and debutant Ayush Badoni struck superb fifties in a brilliant rearguard effort as Lucknow Super Giants posted an under-par 158/6 in 20 overs in their maiden innings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in a clash between two debutants which dominated by a sensational first spell by Mohammad Shami at the Wankhede Stadium here on Monday.
Shami got Lucknow skipper K.L Rahul for a golden duck and then claimed two more wickets as Lucknow were reduced to 29/4 in the fifth over before Hooda and Badoni rescued them with an 87-run partnership as Lucknow at one-time were looking at a smaller total.
Both Hooda and Badoni started cautiously before exploding into action after the 13th over, blasting Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya for 19 runs in his fourth and last over.
Lucknow capitalised on some big overs towards the end as they managed to salvage the situation. Shami, who bowled brilliantly, was the best Gujarat bowler on the field as he claimed 3/25 in his four overs. After starting with a first spell of 3-0-10-3, the 31-year-old experienced pacer was carted for 15 runs by Badoni and Krunal Pandya in his fourth over as Gujarat ended their innings with a few big overs.
Earlier, sent in to bat first, Lucknow Super Giants got off to a disastrous start as they lost skipper KL Rahul off their first ball in the IPL.
It was an unplayable delivery that Mohammad Shami bowled to his India teammate, a fullish delivery that landed in the channel and Rahul had no option but fend at it. The ball took a big deflection but the umpire gave him not out, thinking the ball came off the pad. Gujarat skipper Pandya consulted his wicket-keeper and bowler and successfully reviewed the decision.
Shami, bowling beautifully and always in the channel, sent back Lucknow's other opener, Quinton de Kock (10), splitting the gap between the bat and pad with a peach of a delivery that was fullish and did a wee bit to fox the South African batter.
Varun Aaron, who opened the bowling for Gujarat from the other end, got into the act when he extracted some bounce from the surface and West Indies' Evan Lewis went for a pull but only managed to top edge towards square leg where Shubman Gill completed a fantastic catch.
Lucknow's troubles continued when Shami removed Manish Pandey with one that seamed in just a bit to avoid the Karnataka batter's tentative poke and hit the off stump. Lucknow had lost their fourth wicket for 29 runs and looked in deep trouble. They crawled to 32/4 in the Powerplay as Deepak Hooda and Ayush Badoni, a 22-year-old from Delhi, repaired the innings with a fine partnership for the fifth wicket. Hoods, who blasted some superb boundaries, completed his fifty off 36 deliveries.
Badoni blasted Gujarat skipper Hardik Pandya for a six and two boundaries in the first over his second spell, starting with a six over. He got down to one knee and blasted Pandya over midwicket for a six and followed it up by lapping the second delivery over fine leg for a one-bounce four and then deliberately ran down to third man another fuller one with soft hands.
Hooda then blasted the final delivery for a four as Pandya conceded 19 runs in his fourth over. Lucknow reached 100 off 14.2 overs with Hooda and Badoni looking dangerous. Rashid Khan got Gujarat Titans the much-needed breakthrough, ending the 87-run partnership for the fifth wicket when he trapped Hooda plumb as the batter tried to sweep him away.
Hooda saved Lucknow Super Giants with a fine fifty and though Badoni continued to keep the scoreboard ticking for a couple of more overs, in the end Lucknow Super Giants could manage only a sub-par total in their first innings.
Brief scores: Lucknow Super Giants 158/6 in 20 overs (Deepak Hooda 55, Ayush Badoni 54, Krunal Pandya 21 not out ; Mohd Shami 3/25, Varun Aaron 2/45) v Gujarat Titans.