Mohsin Khan (3/24), Dushmantha Chameera (2/17) and Krunal Pandya (2/11) led a fantastic bowling performance by Lucknow Super Giants to register a 20-run win over Punjab Kings at MCA Stadium in Pune on Friday. The result means that Lucknow are now placed third in points table.
After Kagiso Rabada’s 4/38 restricted Lucknow to 153/8 on a sticky pitch, Punjab lost their way after captain Mayank Agarwal fell in power-play and Liam Livingstone was dismissed in middle overs, with the side eventually making 133/8 in their 20 overs. Lucknow never lifted the constant pressure over Punj’b’s batters and got timely breakthroughs when needed the most.
Agarwal had a fast start, slamming two sixes and two fours to score 25 off 18 balls. Both of his sixes came by backing away and creating room to carve the maximums over off-side. Agarwal attempted to do the same off Chameera but KL Rahul at mid-off timed his jump well to take a brilliant catch in the fifth over.
Jonny Bairstow slammed two fours off Avesh Khan in the final over of power-play as Punjab signed off with 46/1. Post power-play, the chase began to fall away as Shikhar Dhawan was castled by Bishnoi in an attempt to slog-sweep while Bhanuka Rajapaksa tried to play for the turn but got a leading edge to point running from left off Pandya.
Livingstone danced down the pitch twice to hit Bishnoi for successive sixes in an over which yielded 18 runs. Just when it felt like Punjab would run away with the match, Mohsin took out Livingstone, who shuffled across to scoop and could only glove behind to de Kock. In the next over, Pandya trapped Jitesh Sharma lbw after Lucknow took the review.
Bairstow waged a lone battle with the bat, taking two fours off Bishnoi. But Chameera delivered the knockout blow, forcing Bairstow to play at a full, wide delivery and edge to third man. Mohsin came back in his final over to take out Kagiso Rabada and Rahul Chahar. Though Rishi Dhawan slammed boundaries off Avesh Khan in the final ove’, it wasn’t sufficient to deny Lucknow a well-deserved victory.
Earlier, at 98/1, things looked set for Lucknow to accelerate. But a middle-order wobble saw them lose five wickets for just 13 runs between overs 13-16, which eventually became six for 28 between overs 13-18. Rabada got the first breakthrough when his length delivery around off-stump nipped away to take the outer edge of KL Rahul’s defence to Jitesh.
Quinton de Kock opened up in the fifth over, slamming back-to-back sixes off Rabada — hitting one down the ground followed by smacking over deep mid-wicket. In a bid to go big, de Kock played a cross-bat shot off Rishi in last over of power-play. The thick edge flew over backward point and Rabada, running backwards, spilled a tough chance, giving de Kock a reprieve at 19.
Deepak Hooda, promoted to three with no Manish Pandey in the eleven, struggled to time the ball despite lofting Rishi over long-off for a huge six. De Kock went quite after power-play ended though he drove Livingstone through cover and cracked a sweep past short fine leg off Chahar.
The partnership of 85 off 59 balls for the second wicket ended when de Kock got a faint edge on a cut off Sandeep Sharma in the 13th over and though on-field umpire gave not out as his decision, the left-handed opener walked off. De Kock’s fall began a slide for Lucknow’s middle order as some lazy running from Hooda saw him run-out by a direct hit from Bairstow at deep square leg.
Pandya holed out to long-on off Rabada and four balls later, Ayush Badoni flicked, only for the top-edge to be pouched by Livingstone running in from long-on. Marcus Stoinis chipped a catch straight back to Chahar off his own bowling. Chahar had another scalp when Jason Holder lofted straight to deep cover.
Chameera carted Rabada for successive sixes in his last over to infuse some life into Lucknow’s innings. But Chameera’s stay at the crease ended when he lofted off the bottom of the bat and was caught by deep cover who ran in and timed his slide well. It took a drive through extra cover by Mohsin on the last ball off Arshdeep to take 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) by 20 runs