Evin Lewis cracked an unbeaten half century for Lucknow Super Giants as the new Indian Premier League franchise defeated Chennai Super Kings by six wickets in Mumbai on Thursday.
Set a challenging 211 for victory, Lucknow chased down the total with three balls to spare after captain KL Rahul (40), Quinton de Kock (61) and West Indian Lewis - 55 from 23 balls - all made important contributions at Brabourne Stadium.
Ayush Badoni (19 not out) scored the winning run to seal the Super Giants' victory after Rahul's team lost their opening game to fellow IPL new boys Gujarat Titans by five wickets.
“Unbelievable, said De Kock after the South African's 45-ball innings that included nine fours. “Good for team's morale, great win. We came out fighting, to come out on top is very special. We thought we could chase down 210, after first two-three overs we could see it was a good wicket.
“Evin played a hell of a knock … 210 was always going to be a close game but the boys were quite calm. To get it done is a hell of a job done.”
It proved another frustrating defeat for Chennai, who lost to Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets in their opening game.
A quick-fire 50 off 27 balls from opener Robin Uthappa, that included eight fours and a six, plus decent knocks from Shivam Dube (49), Moeen Ali (35) and Ambati Rayudu (27) had helped Ravindra Jadeja's side reach 210-7 in their 20 overs.
Lucknow bowlers Avesh Khan (2-38), Andrew Tye (2-40) and Ravi Bishnoi (2-24) all claimed a couple of wickets each. “Bishnoi has a big heart,” said Rahul. “He's a fighter for a little guy. Shows the character he has to bounce back [from the last game] with a wet ball. Really happy for him, he wants to grow, wants to learn, and good to see that.”
A fine opening stand of 99 from Rahul and de Kock then set their team on the road to victory, before player of the match Lewis stepped in to smash six fours and three sixes in his brutal innings as Lucknow reached 211-4. South Africa pacer Dwaine Pretorius took 2-31 for Chennai.