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Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway provided a blistering start while Ambati Rayudu and captain MS Dhoni gave the boisterous Chepauk crowd its money's worth as Chennai Super Kings posted a mammoth 217/7 against Lucknow Super Giants in Match Six of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023.
Both Gaikwad (57) and Conway (47) played some outstanding shots to smash 79 runs in the Power-play, which became CSK's highest-ever Powerplay score at Chepauk, beating the previous best of 75.
After taking CSK to 100 in eight overs, the duo fell in quick succession. But the rest of the batting order ensured CSK went past 200, especially with Dhoni treating the crowd to a short yet sparking innings in the final over.
For Lucknow, leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi was the pick of the bowlers with 3-28, especially with others having economy rates above seven. The match was off to an eventful start -- Lucknow lost their review on a call for five wides. Conway got off to a flier by slamming Avesh Khan for back-to-back boundaries through the off-side in the second over.
Gaikwad took over with a superb square drive off Kyle Mayers, before pulling Krunal Pandya over mid-on for a brace of boundaries. He then welcomed K. Gowtham with two sixes straight down the ground; followed by a beautiful lofted inside-out six over extra cover.
Conway tore into Mark Wood with an uppish drive and a pull for a brace of boundaries while Gaikwad gently flicked over deep backward square leg for six to notch up his fifty in 25 balls as Chennai signed off from the Power-play with 79/0.
Conway slammed two elegant sixes over long-on off Krunal to bring up the century of the opening partnership in eight overs. Lucknow finally had a breakthrough in the tenth over as Gaikwad went for a drive off Ravi Bishnoi, but the leading edge flew to short third man.
In the next over, Conway again went for a pull off Wood but was caught by a diving deep backward square leg. Dube then boosted Chennai's score with three gigantic sixes, including a 102m maximum, apart from one four. But when trying to get a big shot off Bishnoi, he gave a top edge to short third man.
Moeen gave further impetus to Chennai's innings with a hat-trick of fours through the off-side against Avesh, before being stumped off Bishnoi. Though Ben Stokes and Ravindra Jadeja fell cheaply, Ambati Rayudu applied finishing touches by dancing down the pitch to hit a brace of sixes off Wood while sweeping off Bishnoi and slicing over leaping short third man to get two boundaries.
But the crowd truly went berserk in the final over when MS Dhoni slammed back-to-back sixes off Wood -- a big slash over the wide third man was followed by a huge hook into the upper tier at deep square leg fence. Though Dhoni sliced to third man and departed for 12, the crowd was treated to short yet crisp innings filled with action.
Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 217/7 in 20 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 57, Devon Conway 47; Ravi Bishnoi 3-28, Mark Wood 3-49) against Lucknow Super Giants