Mumbai: Evin Lewis, who looks up to Chris Gayle for inspiration, batted, or rather, belted the ball like the legendary Jamaican to power Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) to an incredible win over Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL on Thursday.
Lewis blazed away to an unbeaten 23-ball 55 as LSG, from a hopeless situation, overhauled an imposing target of 211 with three balls to spare.
Openers K L Rahul (40) and Quinton de Kock (61) laid the foundation with a rollicking stand but the increasing required run rate made the task extremely difficult for LSG.
However, Lewis had other ideas and along with the talented Ayush Badoni, who played his part with a nine-ball unbetaen 19, made it look quite easy in the end.
The script changed completely in the blink of an eye as Lewis and Badoni smashed Shivam Dube for 25 runs in the penultimate over to bring the equation down to nine from the last six balls.
For sure, handing the ball to Dube to bowl the 19th over will be debated for a while.
In all, Lewis hit six fours and three sixes as first-timers LSG recorded their maiden win in the league. Badoni hit two maximums, which turned out to be crucial in the context of the final result.
Rahul and de Kock were off to a flyer, punishing the CSK bowlers into submission. The duo was at its destructive best, dealing only in four and sixes and at one point it looked like they were going to finish the game in quick time.
But Dwaine Pretorius (2/31) was right on his mark as he got rid of Rahul before Dwayne Bravo (1/35) engineered Manish Pandey's dismissal to bring the defending champions back in the game.
Pretorius struck once again, accounting for compatriot de Kock as CSK continued to put pressure with good fielding.
Then, Lewis joined forces with Badoni to do the job for LSG.
With just nine required in the last over and Mukesh Choudhary bowling a couple of wides, Badoni smashed a six to level the score and then took his side over the line.
Earlier, leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi (2/24) did a tremendous job with the wet ball in difficult conditions, even as Robin Uthappa turned back the clock with his beautiful yet brutal assault to propel CSK to a strong total.
Uthappa scored a fluent 50 off 27 balls to give CSK a solid start before Dube made 49 off 30 deliveries, while skipper Ravindra Jadeja (17 off 9) and M S Dhoni (16 not out off 6), who slammed two fours and a six, provided the final flourish.