Ayush Badoni sizzled on a rainy day in Lucknow with a career-best 59 to steal the thunder in the abandoned match against Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday.
Badoni, who learnt his cricket under legendary Delhi cricket coach the late Tarak Sinha — the man responsible for producing a dozen international cricketers including the likes of Rishabh Pant, Ashish Nehra, Manoj Prabhakar and Shikhar Dhawan among others — showed his class with an outstanding innings on a difficult pitch at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow.
Badoni’s career took a big jump when Gautam Gambhir saw him bat and the rest is history. Gambhir ensured that Lucknow Super Giants bagged him at the IPL auction last year for his base price of Rs 20 lakh and backed him to the hilt in his very first season.
Last season, he scored 161 runs in 13 games and this year he has already surpassed that tally with 191 runs from 10 matches at a strike rate of 143.
The 23-year-old produced a remarkable half-century against Chennai Super Kings where international stars like Kyle Mayers, Marcus Stoinis and Nicholas Pooran struggled against the CSK spin trio on a pitch offering considerable assistance to the spinners.
Badoni, who has batted at various positions for LSG, came out at No 7 against CSK with his team tottering on 44/5 in the 10th over.
He in the company of Pooran batted cautiously as the duo set about rebuilding the LSG innings, relying on ones and twos, without taking any chances against the spinners with the field well spread out.
LSG scored 31 in eight overs after the Powerplay before Badoni broke the shackles as he slogged spinner Mahesh Theekshana for a six over midwicket — for the first boundary after a long wait of 50 balls.
The normally-aggressive Pooran struggled with his timing and no matter how hard he swung could not find a boundary. Badoni again targetted Theekshana in his final over, with a six over midwicket and a four through point, to get 15 runs from the 17th over.
Pooran’s misery ended when he perished to pacer Matheesha Pathirana for a slow 20 from 31 balls, without hitting a single boundary, as Badoni was the major contribution the 59-run stand with the West Indian.
Badoni gave the home fans something to cheer. He top edged the intended pull shot Deepak Chahar for a four over the wicketkeeper before pulling the next off the middle over midwicket for a six to raise his 50 in some style, from just 30 balls, on a pitch where all others found it difficult to get going.
He played another cracking inside out shot off Chahar for a six over the covers, to get 20 from the 19th over.
Courtesy Badoni, the LSG innings turned on its head. They were 62/5 in 15 overs, before the youngster’s inspiring knock saw the hosts hit 63 from the next five overs.
Unfortunately, rain played spoilsport as the match was abandoned or LSG, who had recovered to 125/7 in 19.2 overs, could have fancied their chances of defending the total.
Interestingly, while Badoni smashed his way to 59 from 33 balls, the other seven LSG batters could manage only 60 from 83 balls.
- IPL 2023
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