Mumbai, April 11: Yuzvendra Chahal’s super bowling (4/41) after a brilliant late attack by Shimron Hetmyer (59 not out of 36 balls) and a tactical change by R Ashwin, who became the first player in IPL history to ‘retire’, helped Rajasthan Royals beat Lucknow Super Giants by three runs in Match 20 of IPL 2022, here on Sunday.
Hetmyer and Ashwin were going strong having rescued Rajasthan Royals from 4-67 to 135 in the 19th when Ashwin, after singleing off Avesh Khan, walked to the bench and retired. That allowed Riyan Parag, considered a better finisher, to enter the field and he and Hetmyer led the Royals to a modest total which they later defended thanks to a clinical bowling performance.
Trent Boult hit two shots on his first two deliveries and Chahal closed out the middle order and though Marcus Stoinis hammered some big sixes to drag down Lucknow in the end who needed 15 runs on six deliveries. But debutant Kuldeep Sen, a young right-arm pacemaker from Madhya Pradesh, bowled magnificently to deny Stoinis the chance to become the hero and Lucknow came agonizingly close, limited to 162/8 in 20 overs.
Boult landed two powerful shots in the first over, sending back skipper KL Rahul (0) and Krishnappa Gowtham (0) in the first two deliveries of the LSG innings and Chahal took over the good work in the middle overs, when LSG fell to 5-74 in the 12-plus. Although Quinton de Kock (39) held a winger for some time and Marcus Stoinis (38 not out of 17) landed some hard shots in the last two overs, they were unable to drag Lucknow to victory lane.
Previously, it was Heymyer and Ashwin who rescued the Royals from 67/4 to help them post a total they could defend.
Hetmyer and Ashwin added 68 runs for the 51-ball fifth wicket as they revived the Royals’ innings. The Royals fired 78 runs in the last five overs.
Rajasthan opened their batting with Jos Buttler and Devdutt Padikkal and they got them off to a decent start, taking them to 42 before Buttler went out when pacemaker Avesh Khan castled him with his first ball.
Skipper Sanju Samson (13), Rassie van der Dussen (4) and Padikkal (Rajasthan Royals dropped to 67/4 with Krishnappa Gowtham picking a pair of wickets and Avesh Khan and Jason Holder bagging one each.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Shimron Hetmyer resurrected the innings and then unleashed some excellent shots to add 68 runs for the fifth wicket.
Short scores: Rajasthan Royals 165/6 in 20 overs (Devdutt Padikkal 29, Shimron Hetmyer 59 out, R Ashwin 28; K Gowtham 2/30, Jason Holder 2/48) beat Lucknow Super Giants 162/8 in 20 overs ( Quinton de Kock 39, Deepak Hooda 25, Yuzvendra Chahal 4/41, Trent Boult 2/30) for 3 runs.