Stoinis turns LSG's

LSG’s distress call is transformed into a lasting memory by Stoinis.

The hundreds in the CSK vs. LSG game at Chepauk indicated that there is still some room in a corner for certain antiquated techniques in this IPL, albeit with contrasting efforts at the other end. This season has proved the high value of batsmen finding success through an all-out assault approach.

Ruturaj Gaikwad and Marcus Stoinis both saw their sides lose wickets early on and had to respond cautiously at first, but they were still able to maintain a high scoring pace with some well-planned attacks.

For the first time this season, Stoinis, who has experience batting in the top order in T20s, was thrust into the No. 3 spot, which has been a problem area for LSG thus far (56 off 55, six dismissals, Avg: 9.33, SR: 101.81), and he produced one of the more memorable knocks that dealt a blow to CSK and their customary home advantage.

Despite losing both of the openers cheaply, Stoinis unveiled an array of shots that prevented LSG from being put under pressure. Deepak Chahar was hit for two fours during the powerplay, Tushar Deshpande was driven and pulled, and Shardul Thakur cut for back-to-back boundaries. LSG’s powerplay phase was salvaged by the early success of execution against well-laid plans, with Stoinis accounting for 26 of the 45 runs scored.

Because of the favourable circumstances, he was able to neutralise the spin danger as well, hitting Moeen Ali and Ravindra Jadeja for sixes, which gave him momentum in the middle overs. Tushar Deshpande’s wide lines were shut down for 15 runs in an over in the next round of cunning attack. He was able to inhale more easily after these attacks against Matheesha Pathirana, the night’s biggest threat for CSK. Out of Pathirana’s 24, Stoinis faced 10 balls and scored just two boundaries, a strong drive through additional cover and a deft upward steer beyond backward point.

According to Stoinis afterwards, “It’s not just go go go, there were some bowlers we wanted to target and some bowlers we wanted to be more cautious against.”

With the exception of Nicholas Pooran, LSG’s weak middle order determined the extent of planning. For a time, though, it appeared as though LSG would still have to pay a heavy price for this strategy, as they would have to chase down 87 in the final six overs. In the final overs, Stoinis was able to relax and unleash his own power play thanks to timely cameos from Pooran and Deepak Hooda. This was reminiscent of Jos Buttler’s performance against KKR earlier in the season.

Stonis was able to take advantage of Mustafizur Rahman’s decreased efficacy due to his lack of grip and the ball’s rising wetness. Against Rahman, he was able to stay back and drive the ball over the fence for three of his six maximums. In addition to being his individual highest score in the competition, Stoinis’ 124 was also the highest run-chase score in IPL history, the highest against CSK, and also gave LSG a double over CSK this season, earning accolades from the opposition.

“He’s got power but he’s also really good batsmanship,” Stephen Fleming, head coach of CSK, remarked of Stoinis. “He went about his task quietly today, finishing the innings with total control after reaching his fifty in roughly twenty balls. Fleming thought, “What more could you ask for from your top three?”

“They needed someone to answer what Ruturaj did and Stoinis did that beautifully.”