Pune, May 7 (IANS) Brilliant knocks by Quinton de Kock and Deepak Hooda followed by a sensational performance by Avesh Khan (3/19) and Jason Holder (3/31) led Lucknow Super Giants to a dominating 75 run-win over Kolkata Knight Riders in the 53rd match of the IPL 2022 at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, here on Saturday.
With this win, Lucknow Super Giants dethroned Gujarat Titans and took the top spot in the points table. Both Lucknow and Gujarat have registered 8 wins in 11 matches but the K.L. Rahul-led side has a superior run rate (0.703) than Hardik Pandya’s team (0.120). On the other hand, KKR have now been pushed to the brink of elimination after their seventh defeat in 11 matches.
A quick-fire fifty from de Kock (50 off 29) and a vital knock by Hooda (41 off 27) guided Lucknow Super Giants to 176-7 in 20 overs, on being invited to bat first. Both de Kock and Hooda steadied the Lucknow innings with a 71-run stand for the second wicket.
Apart from them, the likes of Krunal Pandya (25 off 27), and Marcus Stoinis (28 off 14) also made some valuable contributions with the bat for LSG.
Chasing a challenging total, KKR needed a solid opening partnership but Baba Indrajith got a duck and his partner Aaron Finch got a run-a-ball 14. The likes of Shreyas Iyer (6) and Nitish Rana also couldn’t do much and got single-digit scores. Inside seven overs, KKR were reduced to 25 for 4 and the chase was out of their grasp after that.
The hero of KKR’s win in the last game, Rinku Singh (6) also got out cheaply. Andre Russell gave the fans some entertainment — smashing 45 off 19 while Sunil Narine struck 22 off 12 to prop up the score before it all came crashing down. In the end, Kolkata were bowled out for 101-10 in 14.3 overs, losing by a huge margin of 75 runs.
Mohsin Khan (1/6) was brilliant upfront with just 6 runs conceded in his 3 overs, but Avesh Khan hogged the headlines with his 3-19 in three overs, including a maiden. He removed Nitish Rana with a yorker and then bagged his prized scalp of Russell. Jason Holder (3/31), Dushmantha Chameera (1/14), and Ravi Bishnoi (1/31) too played their part as all of LSG’s bowlers had ticked the wickets column.
Earlier, Lucknow were off to a poor start as they lost the wicket of skipper Rahul in the fifth ball of the very first over of the innings. De Kock drove the ball towards covers and looked to take a run but his hesitation led to the confusion. By that time Rahul was halfway down the track, and Shreyas Iyer affected the direct hit at the bowler’s end with a rocket throw and the LSG skipper had to walk back for a diamond duck.
However, the duo of De Kock and Deepak Hooda, who came to bat at No. 3, helped Lucknow a quick recovery from that run-out. Hooda cracked drives and lofts through the off-side while de Kock brought out the pull to smash boundaries and sixes as LSG raced to 66/1 at the end of six overs.
Even after the powerplay, de Kock continued his aggressive approach and slammed his half-century off just 27 balls. However, he couldn’t continue his innings longer and got out in the 8th over bowled by Sunil Narine.
After losing the wickets of Rahul and de Cock, the onus was on Hooda and Krunal Pandya to keep the momentum going. While Hooda was playing with aggressive intent, Pandya struggled to find his timing, which slowed down LSG’s run rate.
With LSG at 104/2 in 12 overs, KKR skipper Iyer brought Andre Russell into the attack and he struck in his first over to remove a well-set Deepak Hooda (41), who tried to pull the ball away but picked out Iyer in the mid-wicket region. Pandya tried to show some intent by hitting a Tim Southee delivery for a boundary over covers but Russell also sent him back to the pavilion as KKR clawed their way back in the game.
With four overs to go at 126/4, LSG needed some late fireworks to finish well. Mavi and Russell bowled two decent overs (17th and 18) in a row to keep Lucknow batters — Stoinis and Badoni in control. Just when things were going well for KKR, Mavi bowled an expensive 19th over as he conceded five sixes. Stoinis cracked a hat trick of sixes before getting out in the fourth ball. After he was dismissed, Holder continued to smack Mavi and collected two more sixes.
LSG lost a couple of wickets — Jason Holder (13 off 4) and Chameera (0) in the last over bowled by Tim Southee. But, Ayush Badoni (15 off 18) remained not out and helped Lucknow finish with a formidable 176/7. Andre Russell (2/22) was the most successful bowler for KKR, while Sunil Narine (1/20), Tim Southee and Shivam Mavi (1/50) also chipped in with one wicket each.
Brief scores; Lucknow Super Giants: 176/7 in 20 overs (Quinton de Kock 50, Deepak Hood 41; Andre Russell 2/22) beat Kolkata Knight Riders (Andre Russell 45, Sunil Narine 22; Avesh Khan 3/19, Jason Holder 3/31) by 75 runs