Kolkata: Rinku Singh’s fighting knock of 67 runs went in vain as Lucknow Super Giants defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by 1-run in a thriller in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 match here at the Eden Gardens on Saturday. While the victory assured LSG of a playoff berth, a defeat to KKR put curtains on their IPL 2023 campaign.
A crucial counter-attacking knock of 58(30) from Nicholas Pooran helped Lucknow Super Giants qualify for the Play-offs but not before surviving a Rinky Singh scare as they beat Kolkata Knight Riders in a last-over thriller. Pooran’s fighting knock helped LSG recover from 73/5 and propelled them to a competitive 176/8. Ravi Bishnoi then bowled an impressive spell of 2/23 as LSG survived another heroic performance from Rinku Singh (67* off 33) to win the match by one run as Impact Player Yash Thakur defended 21 in the last over.
Chasing 177, KKR were off to a flier as Venkatesh Iyer smashed a couple of fours and a six off Mohsin Khan in the first over. Jason Roy then went after Naveen-ul-Haq and cracked a couple of fours and a cracking straight six to make it 15 again, off the second over. Krunal then brought himself into the attack and bowled a decent over, giving away just six runs. The pair took 9 runs off K Gowtham and Roy then took the attack to Krunal, hitting three fours in a row to make it 14 off the over. Gowtham finally got LSG the breakthrough as he had Iyer (24 off 15) caught at extra cover as KKR reached 61/1 at the end of the Powerplay. Ravi Bishoni then provided another breakthrough as he had captain Nitish Rana caught at extra cover off a leading edge for his 100th T20 wicket. KKR lost another one in quick succession as Krunal cleaned up Roy (45 off 28) to help the away side claw their way back into the match.
LSG bowled with accuracy and discipline and kept things tight. The pressure brought the wicket as Rahmanullah Gurbaz went for a big one but got an outside edge to backward point off Impact Player Yash Thakur where Bishnoi took a juggling catch. Thakur bowled a fantastic over and gave away just three. Naveen bowled another decent over, giving away just six as the equation came to 63 needed off 30 balls. Russell tried to up the scoring, cracking a straight six off Bishnoi but the LSG spinner bounced back to have Russell’s off stump knocked down off the next ball. It was another very good over for LSG with just seven runs coming off it along with the big wicket of Russell.
With 56 needed off 24, Naveen bowled another good over, conceding just five. Rinku Singh finally released some pressure as he swung one over deep backward square leg for a six. But Yash Thakur bounced back to dismiss Shardul Thakur as he had him caught at deep square leg off a short ball. KKR lost another in the over as Sunil Narine was run out trying to go for a risky second. Yash made an excellent comeback to give away just four more runs apart from that six from Rinku. With 41 needed off 12 balls, Rinku Singh hit three fours in a row, one off the outside edge, one rocketing off the middle through extra cover off Naveen and one slashed over short third man. He then scampered through for a risky two off the next ball to bring the equation down to 27 off 8. He clobbered the next ball over deep square leg for a 110m six to bring up his fifty off just 27 balls. He swung and missed the last one as 20 runs came off the over.
With 21 needed off six, Krunal handed the ball to Impact Player Yash Thakur. Vaibhav Arora bunted the first ball down the ground and gave the strike to Rinku. Yash bowled the next one wide outside off and it was called a WIDE. The next ball was fast and short and Rinku was beaten for pace as the ball flicked his helmet even before he could complete his shot. The next one was in the blockhole and Rinku mistimed his heave to deep mid-wicket. He didn’t take the single. The next one was a wide. With 18 needed off 3, Runku Singh smashed it over the deep mid-wicket stands to provide hope of another miracle. With 12 needed off 2, Yash bowled it very full and Rinku crashed it through extra cover only for a four. With 8 needed off 1, Rinku smacked it over long on where the fielder parried it over the ropes for a six as the home side fell agonisingly short by two runs.
Earlier, fiery spells from Vaibhav Arora, Shardul Thakur and Sunil Narine helped Kolkata Knight Riders restrict Lucknow Super Giants to 176/8 in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 match here at Eden Gardens on Saturday. Nicholas Pooran scored the highest for LSG with 58 off 30 while Quinton de Kock played a knock of 28 runs. For KKR, Vaibhav, Shardul and Narine bagged two wickets haul respectively.
Opting to field first, KKR bowlers breathed fire as their bowler Harshit Rana dismissed LSG opener Karan Sharma for 3 in the third over of the game. Vaibhav Arora then joined the wicket-taking party as he dismissed dangerous man Marcus Stoinis and Prerak Mankad in the 7th over of the game. Experienced spinner Sunil Narine then spun his web and claimed the wicket of LSG captain Krunal Pandya for 9 runs in the 10th over of the innings.
It did not take long for Varun Chakaravarthy to join wicket taking party as he dismissed Quinton de Kock for 28. The left-handed batter Nicholas Pooran then came out to bat and slammed Chakaravarthy for two back-to-back fours and one six in the 11th over of the innings, gathering 15 runs.
Pooran kept piling runs for his team while slamming KKR bowlers all around the ground. With his powerful shots, Pooran pulled his team back into the match and kept the scoreboard ticking. Pooran stitched up a 50-run crucial partnership with Ayush Badoni. Sunil Narine broke the 74-run partnership stand as he removed Badoni for 25.
Pooran then brought his half-century in 28 balls with a huge six in the 19th over. Shardul Thakur then delivered a stunning ball to dismiss well-set batter Pooran for 58 in the same over he bowled out Ravi Bishnoi for 2. In the last over, LSG batter Krishnappa Gowtham gathered 13 runs and took his team’s total to 176/8 in 20 overs.
Brief score: Lucknow Super Giants 176/8 (Nicholas Pooran 58, Quinton de Kock 28; Vaibhav Arora 2-30) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (Rinku Singh 67*, Jason Roy 45; Ravi Bishnoi 2-23).