Puno, April 29: Mohsin Khan (3/24), Dushmantha Chameera (2/17) and Krunal Pandya (2/11) led a fantastic bowling performance from Lucknow Super Giants to record a 20-run win over Punjab Kings at MCA Stadium in Pune on Friday. The result means that Lucknow now sits third in the points table.
After Kagiso Rabada’s 4/38 restricted Lucknow to 153/8 on a tricky pitch, Punjab lost their way after captain Mayank Agarwal went down on a power play and Liam Livingstone was dismissed in half overs, and the team eventually went 133/8 in their 20 overs Lucknow never lifted the constant pressure on the Punj’b batsmen and made timely breakthroughs when they were needed most.
Agarwal got off to a fast start, hitting two sixes and two fours to go 25-for-18. His two sixes came back and created space to carve offside highs. Agarwal tried to do the same with Chameera, but KL Rahul at half time timed his jump well to make a brilliant save in the fifth over.
Jonny Bairstow hit two fours against Avesh Khan in the power play final as Punjab signed at 46/1. After the power play, the chase began to fade as Shikhar Dhawan was castled by Bishnoi in a sweep attempt as Bhanuka Rajapaksa tried to play for the turn but got an advantage to aim from Pandya’s left.
Livingstone danced down the court twice to hit Bishnoi with straight sixes in an 18-run over. Just when it looked like Punjab would take the match, Mohsin took out Livingstone, who scrambled to collect and could only get in behind De Kock. In the next over, Pandya caught Jitesh Sharma lbw after Lucknow took the check.
Bairstow fought a lonely battle at bat, drawing two fours from Bishnoi. But Chameera delivered the knockout blow, forcing Bairstow to play a full, wide shot and skirting the third man. Mohsin came back on his endgame to eliminate Kagiso Rabada and Rahul Chahar. Although Rishi Dhawan slammed Avesh Khan’s limits in the final game, it was not enough to deny Lucknow a well-deserved victory.
Previously, at 98/1, everything looked set for Lucknow to step up their game. But a mid-order wobble saw them lose five wickets to just 13 runs between overs 13-16, which eventually became six for 28 between overs 13-18. Rabada made the first big breakthrough when his long throw around the stump deflected to bring the outside edge of KL Rahul’s defense to Jitesh.
Quinton de Kock opened in the fifth over, bowling six straight against Rabada, hitting one on the ground followed by a deep strike in the middle of the wicket. In an attempt to go big, de Kock fired a cross shot in front of Rishi in the latter part of the power play. The thick edge flew over the tip back and Rabada, racing back, spilled a difficult chance, giving De Kock a breather on the 19th.
Deepak Hooda, promoted to three without Manish Pandey in the eleven, struggled to time the ball despite passing Rishi for a big six. De Kock was gone long after he finished the power play, though he drove Livingstone through coverage and opened up a sweep that got past Chahar’s short, thin leg.
The 59-ball 85 partnership for the second wicket ended when de Kock gained a slight advantage on a Sandeep Sharma cut on the 13th and although the on-field umpire did not relinquish his decision, the left-handed starter walked away. De Kock’s knockdown started a slide for the Lucknow middle order as Hooda saw him run off by a Bairstow direct hit to the deep square leg.
Pandya holed out from long range off Rabada and four balls later, Ayush Badoni shot, only for Livingstone to pocket the top edge running from long range. Marcus Stoinis returned a catch directly to Chahar at his own bowling alley. Chahar had another scalp as Jason Holder flew straight into deep cover.
Chameera charged Rabada for six in a row in his final over to breathe some life into Lucknow’s innings. But Chameera’s stay in the crease ended when he rose off the bottom of the bat and was caught by deep coverage that ran and timed his slide well. It took a drive through Mohsin’s extra coverage on Arshdeep’s last ball to push Lucknow past 150.
Brief scores: Lucknow Super Giants 153/8 in 20 overs (Quinton de Kock 46, Deepak Hooda 34; Kagiso Rabada 4/38, Rahul Chahar 2/30) beat Punjab Kings 133/8 in 20 overs (Jonny Bairstow 32, Mayank Agarwal 25; Mohsin Khan 3/24, Krunal Pandya 2/11) for 20 runs