There was a drought of runs in the middle at the BRSABV Ekana Stadium in Lucknow on Wednesday but the rains poured down heavily in the City of Nawabs, forcing Lucknow Super Giants and Chennai Super Kings to share a point each in match 45 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. 

The result is less than a win but it helped LSG climb up to second place on the IPL 2023 table with 11 points at the end of 10 games. Defending champions Gujarat Titans lead the table with 12 points while CSK are third with 11 due to an inferior net run rate than LSG.

LSG were asked to bat first by CSK’s legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who won the toss and also squashed the rumours of him hanging the boots after this season. Krunal Pandya, meanwhile, captained the home team as KL Rahul skipped the match due to injury. 

A shaky start by LSG

Manan Vohra got his first match of the season in the absence of KL Rahul. He opened the innings along with an in-form Kyle Mayers and gave LSG a steady start under tricky conditions. 

However, once the spinners Moeen Ali, Maheesh Theekshana and Ravindra Jadeja got into the action, LSG slipped from 16/0 in 3 overs to 44/5 at the end of the 10th over. Manan Vohra, Kyle Mayers, Karan Sharma, captain Krunal Pandya and dangerous Marcus Stoinis were all back in the dugout.

Brilliant Badoni’s counter-punch

Ayush Badoni is just 23 years old but showed the temperament of someone with plenty of experience. Coming in at No. 7, Badoni batted sensibly to stitch a 59-run stand with Nicholas Pooran after LSG were reeling at 44/5. 

Badoni stuck in the middle initially and took off on the first ball of the 17th over by sweeping Maheesh Theekshana for a six over midwicket. While Pooran (20 off 31) departed in the next over trying to up the ante, Badoni milked the 19th over bowled by Deepak Chahar for 20 runs. Badoni’s innings was laced with two fours and four sixes. His knock of unbeaten 59 from 33 deliveries on a challenging was crucial in LSG moving towards a fighting score of 125 before rain played the spoilsport. 

What next for the Super Giants?

From registering IPL’s second-highest score, Mark Wood’s fifer to Pooran’s second-fastest IPL fifty, Lucknow Super Giants have achieved quite a few noteworthy milestones this season. However, breaking a three-match losing streak against Gujarat Titans on Monday will be among the top priorities for the LSG Brigade. The match will be played at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. 

The last time the two teams met was at BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium on April 22. A tight bowling performance saw LSG restrict Gujarat Titans to 135/6. Despite a valiant half-century by skipper KL Rahul in reply, the defending champions won the contest by seven runs in the end.

Brief Scores: Lucknow Super Giants - 125/7 in 19.2 overs (Ayush Badoni 59*, Moeen Ali 2/13, Matheesha Pathirana 2/22) vs Chennai Super Kings - Did Not Bat (Match abandoned due to rain)