IPL 2023, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Lucknow Super Giants (LSG): Nicholas Pooran's 58, Ravi Bishnoi's 2-23 and Rinku Singh's 67 are top performances. LSG beat KKR and qualify for playoffs for the 2nd straight time.
Brief Scores: LSG 176/8 (Nicholas Pooran 58, Quinton de Kock 28, Sunil Narine 2/28) beat KKR 175/7 (Rinku Singh 67 not out, Jason Roy 45, Ravi Bishnoi 2/23) by 1 run.
Player of the match: Nicholas Pooran (58 off 30)
Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) won a thriller by 1 run against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in IPL 2023 on Saturday to seal their play-off berth. Rinku Singh had almost spoiled LSG's party, when he threatened to chase down 41 runs off the last 12 balls, but fell short by 1 run to level the score. With this win, LSG are placed third in the points table and will play the Eliminator. KKR are knocked out of the tournament.
Lucknow beat Kolkata by a run to seal play-off berth
Rana rushes in to throw the opening pitch of the game, and Sharma gets things started with a single. The next player is Nicholas Pooran, and he is off to an explosive start! Varun has hit two fours and a six already. Kolkata must use extreme caution; they cannot allow this individual to reside there. Before Krunal Pandya and Quinton de Kock died playing the slog-sweep to Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy, respectively, LSG had lost three wickets, including the key one of Stoinis. LSG scored 176/8 in 20 overs.
Let's cut to the chase: Jason Roy and Venkatesh Iyer were KKR's top two starters. Mohsin Khan will launch the assault. Roy hits Krunal Pandya for a four to start the third over as he steps up to bowl. To divide the two fielders inside the circle, the stroke was perfect. In order to meet their 63-ball requirement, KKR needed over 12 from each over, which increased the strain. It was time for the 19th, and Rinku put up a fight. From the first two balls of Naveen, he hit two double boundaries. KKR ultimately lost the most intriguing game.
Talking points: The Nicholas Pooran Show
Nicholas Pooran’s knock of 58 salvaged LSG innings from destruction. On a slow track, LSG had lost half of their XI by the half-way mark for just 73 runs. He didn’t condemn his attacking style and played one of the best IPL innings of his career. His 58 took LSG to a competitive score of 176 from where LSG could make a defense and win by a run to book a play-off berth.
Pooran guides LSG to 176/8
Asked to bat first, LSG openers struggled to get going as KKR bowled tight line and length. Opener Karan Sharma fell for 3 as he mistimed a pull to Shardul Thakur at mid-wicket off Harshit Rana’s bowling. There was a mini-recovery with the other opener Quinton de Kock and No 3 Prerak Mankad going after KKR bowlers. The two posted a 41-run stand in 4 overs before two wickets fell in quick succession. Vaibhav Arora dismissed Mankad for 26 and Marcus Stoinis for a 2-ball duck to seize the momentum. LSG fell under further trouble when they lost captain Krunal Pandya (9) and de Kock (28) in the space of three balls. It brought Nicholas Pooran to the middle, and he smashed 2 fours and 1 six off the first three balls he faced against Varun Chakravarthy. Pooran made 58 off 30 balls to help LSG score 176/6.
Rinku’s knock goes in vain
KKR fielded another new pair of openers in Jason Roy and Venkatesh Iyer. The move paid rich dividends as the two posted a stand of 61 runs in 5.5 overs. Both the openers destroyed start with. Iyer cracked 2 fours and 1 six off the first over bowled by Mohsin Khan. Roy repeated the same sequence of boundaries in the next over bowled by Naveen-ul-Haq. LSG captain Krunal brought himself in, and was taken for three straight fours by Roy. However, LSG bounced back by dismissing Iyer for 24 off K Gowtham’s bowling.
Ravi Bishnoi then got into the act, dismissing KKR captain Rana for 8. Krunal then dismissed the dangerous Roy bowled for 45. The required run rate started climbing as runs came in a tickle. Rinku Singh, however, played the lone hand and gave a glimmer of hope till the last over even as big hitters Andre Russell, Shardul Thakur, and Sunil Narine fell in quick succession. With 41 runs needed off the last 12 balls, Rinku Singh cracked 4 fours and 3 sixes but just fell short of 1 run to level the score. Rinku remained unbeaten on 33-ball 67 with 6 fours and 4 sixes.
Let’s scan the top three performances from the game between KKR and LSG in IPL 2023
Nicholas Pooran’s 58 off 30 balls
This was one of the most responsible IPL knocks from Nicholas Pooran as he took the team to a respectable score after they were struggling at 73/5 in the 11th over. He didn’t curb his natural attacking instinct and didn’t bow down to pressure. The first three balls he faced went for 4, 4, 6 against the mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy. He again cracked a six off Chakravarthy’s next over. In the death over, he looked to accelerate and hoisted the first two balls bowled by Shardul Thakur - the 19th over of the innings - for sixes, but fell on the third ball while trying to repeat the shot. However, by that time, he had taken LSG to a competitive score. Pooran ended up with 58 off 30 balls with 4 fours and 5 sixes.
Ravi Bishnoi, 2/23
The leg-spinner kept things extremely tight, and bowled unhittable lengths, piling pressure on the opposition to score. The slowness of the pitch helped him in making it difficult for the batsmen to muscle power on their big hitting. KKR captain Nitish Rana fell to the slowness of the pitch that Bishnoi exploited. The ball turning away got Rana to poke at it to hand a simple catch to Krunal Pandya. However, the big fish was Andre Russell. After being hit for a six over the straight boundary, Bishnoi got the ball to turn in sharply to hit the off-stump as Russel missed a slog completely. Besides his bowling, Ravi Bishnoi was good on the field, taking two catches. Bishnoi also reached his 100 wickets in IPL.
Rinku Singh’s 67 not out
The game is not over till the last ball when Rinku Singh is batting in the middle. All the big hitters perished, leaving Rinku Singh with the tough job to finish the game on a slow surface. Rinku took the game deep, trusting his big hitting to do the job in the last few overs. He first rotated the strike and smash the occasional boundaries to keep the scorecard running. But with 41 runs needed off the last 12 balls, the asking rate has touched over 20. Rinku then unleashed the beast in him, first smacking Naveen-ul-Haq’s bowling – the 19th off the innings – for 3 fours and 1 six. And then, with 18 runs needed off the last 3 balls, Rinku could manage 2 sixes and a four to fall just a run short to level the score. KKR lost, but Rinku remained undefeated on a well-made 67.
Points Table Scenario & What's Next
This win by LSG sees them placed third in the points table with 17 points, having won 8 matches in 14 games. They have sealed the play-off berth and will now play the Eliminator to book a spot in Qualifier 2. KKR have been knocked out of the tournament. They are placed seventh with 12 points, having won 6 games from 14.