Lucknow Super Giants captain K.L Rahul marked his 100th IPL appearance with a swashbuckling century which set up their convincing 18-run win over Mumbai Indians at the Brabourne Stadium on Saturday.
After Rahul’s unbeaten 103 off 60 balls laced with nine fours and five sixes enthralled fans in a sunny afternoon and powered Lucknow to 199/4, Mumbai didn’t get any substantial score which they needed from their betters and could only get 181/9 in their 20 overs, slumping to their sixth consecutive loss of the ongoing tournament.
Avesh Khan was pick of bowlers for Lucknow, taking three wickets while others barring Krunal Pandya chipped in with a wicket each.
Rohit Sharma’s indifferent run continued as he nicked behind off Avesh Khan. Young Dewald Brevis continued from where he left off in his 49-blitz against Punjab Kings, crunching Khan through point for four on his very first ball. He got another four through an outer edge off Ravi Bishnoi and clubbed Dushmantha Chameera with a straight bat for a six over long-on.
Brevis followed it up by hitting Chameera for fours through cover point and over mid-off. He slapped Khan for back-to-back fours through mid-wicket and down the ground before the pacer took out the right-hander with a full toss hit straight to extra cover to fall for a 13-ball 31. Just three balls after Brevis fell, Ishan Kishan chopped on to his stumps off Marcus Stoinis.
Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Varma rotated strike well with the senior batter hitting a few fours with his powerful whip through mid-wicket. With the asking rate creeping to 12, Yadav and Varma hit a four each off Krunal Pandya followed by doing the same against Bishnoi.
The 64-run stand off 48 balls for the fourth wicket ended as Jason Holder’s yorker rattled Varma’s off-stump. In the next over, Yadav tried to pull a short ball from Bishnoi but mistimed to deep square leg. Kieron Pollard kept Mumbai in the game by smacking sixes off Chameera over wide long-on and deep mid-wicket before crunching a four through wide long-on off Khan.
Though Fabian Allen fell after slicing straight to short third man, all eyes were on Pollard as Mumbai needed 43 off last 12 balls. But it was Jaydev Unadkat’s cameo of 14 which gave some hope to Mumbai. He began by picking a four through cover drive on his first ball off Khan. He followed it up by smacking Holder over long-on for a six followed by a four in the gap between long-on and long-off fielders.
With 26 needed off the final over, a massive mix-up saw Unadkat run-out while trying to go for the second run. Murugan Ashwin tonked a six over long-on but was immediately run out on the non-striker’s end while going for a run. Pollard’s flick off went straight to long-on off Chameera, making it a case of so close yet so far again for Mumbai.
Brief Scores: Lucknow Super Giants (K.L Rahul 103 not out, Manish Pandey 38; Jaydev Unadkat 2/32, Murugan Ashwin 1/33) beat Mumbai Indians (Suryakumar Yadav 37, Dewald Brevis 31; Avesh Khan 3/30, Marcus Stoinis 1/13) by 18 runs