IPL 2022: Rahul, Hooda and Mohsin lead Lucknow to 6-run win over Delhi (Ld)

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Brilliant half-centuries by K.L Rahul, Deepak Hooda and a sensational bowling effort by left-arm pacer Mohsin Khan (4/16) led Lucknow Super Giants to a six-run win over Delhi Capitals in the thrilling 45th match of the IPL 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium, here on Sunday.

With this win, LSG jumped to second place on the points table with 14 points while DC are slotted in at the sixth spot with 8 points.

Fine fifties by Rahul (77 off 51) and Hooda (52 off 34) powered Lucknow to 195/3 in 20 overs after winning the toss and opting to bat first. Both Rahul and Hooda stitched a superb partnership of 95 runs for the second wicket in just 61 balls.

Chasing a big total, Delhi were off to a poor start as LSG pacers Dushmantha Chameera and Mohsin got the crucial scalps of Prithvi Shaw (5) and David Warner (3) respectively inside the first three overs. After losing two wickets in quick succession, the pressure was on Delhi but Rishabh Pant and Mitchell Marsh decided to counter-attack.

Pant took a heavy toll on Krunal Pandya by hitting three boundaries and a six to lift his side. Marsh joined in the act by tonking a couple of deliveries from Holder into the stands, before picking a six and four off Chameera in the 6th to help Delhi finish powerplay with 66/2. Just when it seemed like DC had wrested back the advantage, Marsh (37 off 20) edged one behind off K. Gowtham. To make matters worse for Delhi, Ravi Bishnoi rattled Lalit Yadav’s (3) stumps with the googly.

With just under 80 required for victory, Mohsin delivered another crucial blow by castling Pant (44 off 30), who didn’t help his cause by not moving his feet. A couple of overs before Pant’s dismissal, Rahul had given DC skipper a reprieve but luckily for LSG, it didn’t prove to be costly.

Rovman Powell (35 off 21) raised the hopes of Delhi with his blistering hitting. In the 12th over, he drilled Gowtham a couple of times over deep midwicket before hitting down the ground for a boundary. But, just in the nick of time, Moshin gave DC another blow when he extracted some bounce by pounding it on a short of a length to dislodge Powell.

With wickets falling at regular intervals, it was left to the spin pair of Axar Patel (42 not out off 24) and Kuldeep Yadav (16 not out off 8) to push the side closer to the target and they did a commendable job.

In the 19th over, Kuldeep and Axar combined to collect a boundary and a six off Chameera to bring the equation down to 21 off 6. In the first delivery of the final over, Kuldeep pulled a slower short ball from Marcus Stoinis for a six. However, despite a harsh call (wide), Stoinis was able to nail a few yorkers and gave only two runs in the next four balls to ensure LSG would come out victorious. Axar hit a six off the final ball but by then it was more or less over for DC as they were restricted to 189-7 in 20 overs, losing by 6 runs.

Earlier, opener Quinton de Kock gave Lucknow a flying start. Showing his aggressive intent, de Kock smashed both Delhi left-arm pacers — Mustafizur Rahman — for boundaries and sixes and took LSG to 41/0 at the end of 4 overs.

During the process, the South African batter was also dropped by Lalit Yadav. However, it didn’t prove too costly for Delhi as Shardul Thakur got rid of de Kock (23 off 13) in the 5th over of the innings with his off-cutter delivery. Deepak Hooda then joined skipper K.L Rahul, who was taking his time to settle down in the middle before taking his chances.

Both batters rotated strikes quite brilliantly and also hit timely boundaries to maintain the healthy run rate of Lucknow. Kuldeep Yadav has bowled beautifully and been Delhi’s biggest match-winner this season but both Hooda and Rahul played confidently against the left-arm spinner and took 26 off his first two overs.

Runs were flowing from both the ends as Hooda and Rahul continued to smash Delhi batters all around the park and reached to their respective fifties in the 13th and 14th over of the innings.

With Rahul and Hooda going great, LSG were cruising towards a big total but it was again Shardul who came to Delhi’s rescue. The right-hand pacer broke the threatening partnership for the second time in the day as LSG lost Hooda against the run of play.

Marcus Stoinis, who came to bat next, got off the mark with a four off the very first ball that he faced but he failed to accelerate for the most part of the innings during his stay at the crease.

With Stoinis struggling to find boundaries, Rahul decided to shift gears and played a few adventurous shots to take LSG further. The Lucknow skipper was hitting the ball well and looked set for another century of the season but a brilliant catch by Lalit Yadav at the boundary line ended his fine knock.

The wicket proved decisive as Stoinis (17 not out off 16) and Krunal Pandya (9 not out off 6) failed to clear the ropes in the last two overs as Lucknow finished with 195/3 in 20 overs. Shardul Thakur (3/40) was the only wicket-taker for Delhi in this game.

Brief scores: Lucknow Super Giants 195/3 in 20 overs (K.L Rahul 77, Deepak Hooda 52; Shardul Thakur 3/40) beat Delhi Capitals 189/7 in 20 overs (Rishabh Pant 44, Axar Patel 42; Mohsin Khan 4/16) by 6 runs.

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