LSG Crash Rinku Singh’s Party as Krunal Pandya and Co. Secure Playoffs Berth
LSG players console Rinku Singh after their one-run win (IPLT20.COM)
Lucknow Super Giants – 176/8 in 20 overs [Nicholas Pooran 58 (30), Quinton de Kock 28 (27); Shardul Thakur 2/27 (2), Sunil Narine 2/28 (4)] beat Kolkata Knight Riders – 175/7 in 20 overs [Rinku Singh 67* (33), Jason Roy 45 (28); Ravi Bishnoi 2/23 (4), Yash Thakur 2/31 (3)] by 1 run.
Lucknow Super Giants have reserved the unclaimed third seat in the playoffs race for themselves after pipping hosts Kolkata Knight Riders by a run. Playing the 68th league game of the IPL 2023 season, the Krunal Pandya-led side crashed Rinku Singh’s party in an otherwise rebellious run-chase in front of a packed Eden Gardens crowd in Kolkata.
Nicholas Pooran’s hurricane surges LSG to 176
Put into bat, the LSG openers failed to get going with opener Quinton de Kock scoring a sluggish run-a-ball 28 at the top of the order. His partner Karan Sharma was dismissed for a mere three, while in-form all-rounder Marcus Stoinis was removed for a duck by young KKR pacer Vaibhav Arora.
Arora also accounted for Prerak Mankad’s wicket, who looked threatening at the crease with his attacking 26. The speedster was one of the three KKR bowlers to have picked two wickets in the evening, alongside senior men Shardul Thakur and Sunil Narine.
For LSG, IPL cult hero Ayush Badoni struck 25 crucial runs while Nicholas Pooran turbo-charged the innings by clobbering a 30-ball 58, eventually boosting his side to a daunting 176.
KKR fall short by a run despite opening blitz and a Rinku rebellion
Chasing 176 in their final league game of the tournament, KKR openers got off to a flier with Jason Roy racing to 45 from just 28 deliveries. Venkatesh Iyer was the first to depart in the run-chase after disrupting LSG’s powerplay attack with a rapid 15-ball 24.
However, five of KKR’s subsequent six batters failed to capitalise on the herculean start as LSG spinners strengthened their grip after the opening wicket. Visiting skipper Krunal Pandya and ace off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham bowled out their spells with much success, conceding just 56 runs from their combined eight overs and snaring a wicket each in the process.
Ravi Bishnoi inflicted the most damage in his four overs, as the youngster removed KKR captain Nitish Rana and prime finisher Andre Russell cheaply.
As has been a norm this season, Rinku Singh emerged KKR’s biggest draw from the run-chase as the batting barbarian clubbed an undefeated 67 from just 33 balls. Despite his extreme efforts in a topsy-turvy final over, his team fell short of their task by a run, thus confirming their imminent elimination from the playoffs race.
Meanwhile LSG, without regular captain KL Rahul’s services, have secured a third spot and will now face either the RCB, Rajasthan Royals or Mumbai Indians in the upcoming Eliminator in Chennai.