LSG survive Rinku scare to eliminate KKR & enter playoffs

NEW DELHI: Just when Lucknow Super Giants thought they had it covered, Rinku Singh reminded them of his hitting prowess, which almost stole the win away from the visitors in their crucial IPL 2023 match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Saturday. But despite the 33-ball 67 not out by Kolkata Knight Riders’ pocket-size dynamo, LSG managed to hang on and in the end won by the thinnest of margins, one run, to book themselves a spot in the playoffs.
Requring 21 runs off the last over to go past LSG’s 176/8, KKR had Rinku well set; but his two sixes and a four off the last three balls of the match fell just a run short (175/7) of forcing a Super Over.
Earlier, LSG owed it to Nicholas Pooran‘s 30-ball 58 and his 74-run stand for the sixth wicket with Ayush Badoni (25) that helped them revive the innings from a precarious 73/5.

(Rinku Singh – Photo: PTI/BCCI/IPL)
The win took LSG to 17 points and at number three on the points table, booking them a place in the playoffs. With 12 points from 14 matches, KKR are now out of the race to playoffs.
Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings have already booked a place in the playoffs. Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore, who play their last matches on Sunday, are in the race for the lone fourth spot.
KKR needed to win inside eight overs to go past Royal Challengers Bangalore on net run-rate and keep their slender IPL playoff hopes alive.
The KKR opening duo of Jason Roy (45) and Venkatesh Iyer (24) showed the right intent, taking on Mohsin Khan and Naveen-ul-Haq in the first two overs to race to 30 for no loss.

Roy then took LSG skipper Krunal to cleaners when he hit the left-arm spinner for three boundaries in a row.
From being 61 for no loss, KKR lost the plot as the LSG spinners strangled them right after the powerplay when Iyer, Nitish Rana (8) and Roy got out for the addition of just 21 runs.
By then, KKR’s slim hopes were gone and it was about playing for pride.
Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi (2/23) was the pick of LSG bowlers, while Krunal and Krishnappa Gowtham also bagged one wicket each.

Earlier, Pooran held the LSG innings together with a counter-attacking fifty to propel LSG to a fighting 176/8.
Pooran rebuilt the innings after LSG had lost wickets in a heap, including the in-form duo of Marcus Stoinis for a second-ball duck and Krunal Pandya (9).
Put in to bat, LSG struggled to break free early on with rookie new ball bowler duo of Vaibhav Arora (2/30) and Harshit Rana (1/21 from three overs) setting the pace beautifully before spinners got into the act.
Old warhorse Sunil Narine (2/28) and Varun Chakravarthy (1/38) removed Krunal and Quinton de Kock (28) in successive overs to bring cheer to the KKR camp.

But Pooran produced his counter-attacking display and smashed Chakravarthy for two fours and a six to start the recovery act. Overall, Pooran slammed fives sixes and four boundaries.
The KKR new-ball bowlers set the tempo early on with Rana giving away just one run in the opening over and returned in his next over to dismiss Karan Sharma inside the powerplay.
De Kock and Mankad, however, managed to keep the run-rate up with 54/1 in the powerplay, taking on Chakravarthy, KKR’s best spinner this season.
Just when LSG looked to have found their feet on a dry Eden surface, Arora’s twin blow in the seventh over pushed the visitors further.


(AI image)
While Mankad (26) got out trying to go aerial, LSG’s crisis man Stoinis got an unplayable delivery to be dismissed without scoring. Arora got the short ball to rise awkwardly, to which Stoinis had no answer and got his glove to be caught at the slip.
At 55/3 in 6.5 overs, LSG had the duo of De Kock and skipper Krunal to repair the damage but the experienced duo showed little application and got out in successive overs, playing reckless shots.
Narine got Krunal in his first over, while Chakravarthy dismissed the well-set De Kock who played an atrocious slog sweep.
(With agency inputs)
Watch Lucknow Super Giants beat Kolkata Knight Riders to enter IPL play-offs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *