Published on: May 21, 2023
Rinku Singh (67 not out off 33) played yet another brilliant knock for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). However, Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) survived the scare to register a one-run win in match number 68 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Saturday, May 20. With the win, LSG also confirmed their place in the playoffs, joining Gujarat Titans (GT) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Chasing 177, KKR were in big trouble at 136/7 after 18 overs. However, Rinku went absolutely berserk at the death to take Kolkata within one run of LSG’s total. The left-handed batter slammed six fours and four sixes to give Lucknow a tough time in the last couple of overs. Yash Thakur, somehow, held his nerve under pressure and ensured KKR did not get the 21 runs needed off the last over.
In the chase, Jason Roy (45 off 28) and Venkatesh Iyer (24 off 15) added 61 for the opening wicket inside the powerplay. However, KKR lost their way after both were dismissed. LSG leggie Ravi Bishnoi put his team on top, getting the big scalps of Nitish Rana (8) and Andre Russell (7). However, Rinku led another incredible fight back albeit in a losing cause.
Earlier, LSG recovered from 73/5 to post 176/8. Karan Sharma (3), Marcus Stoinis (0) and Krunal Pandya (8) all fell cheaply, while Quinton de Kock (28) and Prerak Mankad (26) were dismissed in their 20s. Nicholas Pooran (58 off 30) played a brilliant knock to lift LSG. Pooran struck four fours and five sixes and added 74 for the sixth wicket with Ayush Badoni (25 off 21). K Gowtham also smacked a four and a six to ensure LSG crossed 175.
Speaking after the much-needed win, Krunal Pandya said, “First reaction is satisfaction. We never gave up; we were put under lot of pressure but credit to the boys. At one stage, they were 61/1 but I've seen it before that at this level 2-3 tight overs and we're in the game. And there was some grip for the spinners as well.”
Praising Rinku, he added, “Rinku has been special this year, every game when he's there you can't take it easy. Today he showed it again, but it is a high pressure situation while bowling death overs to execute our plans. I was talking to my bowlers after each ball, I asked them to execute their plans, if after that the batter plays a good shot there's nothing we can do.”
--By A Cricket Correspondent