IPL 2023, Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) vs Punjab Kings (PBKS): KL Rahul's 74, Yudhvir Singh's 2-19 and Sikandar Raza's 57 are top performances. PBKS beat LSG and move to 4th spot while LSG stay at 2nd spot in the table.
Brief Scores: PBKS 161/8 (Sikandar Raza 57, Yudhvir Singh 2/19) beat LSG 159/8 (KL Rahul 74, Sam Curran 3/31) by 2 wickets.
Player of the match: Sikandar Raza (57 off 41 & 1-19)
With two wins on the trot, Lucknow Super Giants are eyeing a third straight win when they take on struggling Punjab Kings at Lucknow in IPL 2023 on Saturday. Meanwhile, PBKS have suffered two straight losses and need to get back to winning ways to continue to stay in contention for play-offs.
LSG was in the game till the last over of the match, before the brilliance of Shahrukh Khan took the game away from them. Few things that must keep LSG worried are the slow innings of captain KL Rahul and the failure of the middle-order. Rahul’s slow scoring had put pressure on the middle-order to go harder at the bowling, and hence, they lost wickets in a heap. It resulted in Nicholas Pooran (golden duck) and Krunal Pandya holing out in the deep in an attempt to accelerate. Although Rahul did improve his strike rate in the end, the damage was done as the middle-order failed to came to the party. Hence, LSG must sort out these issues before tougher tests await them.
LSG post a fighting total courtesy captain Rahul
PBKS won the toss and chose to field first. They were without their regular captain Shikhar Dhawan who was nursing a shoulder niggle. Sam Curran captained the team in this match. LSG were off to a fantastic start, courtesy their openers Kyle Mayers and captain KL Rahul. The two posted 49/0 in the powerplay overs, with Mayers being the aggressive of the two. Mayers’ backfoot punch for a six over point boundary off a wide and short ball from Curran was one of the best shots of the match.
Harpreet Brar broke the stand of 53 runs when Mayers holed out in the deep to Harpreet Singh for 29. Deepak Hooda could score just 2 runs before he was LBW by Sikandar Raza. Rahul got good support from Krunal Pandya and the two stitched a stand of 48 runs for the third wicket before the latter fell to a good juggling catch in the deep by Shahrukh Khan off K Rabada’s bowling.
Pooran then fell for a golden duck. Marcus Stoinis then struck two sixes before he was dismissed for 15. However, Rahul held one end up, and cracked a few big hits in the death overs to take the total to 159/8. Rahul top-scored with 74 runs off 56 balls with 8 fours and 1 six.
Raza, Shahrukh save the day for Punjab
Punjab, in the absence of their captain-cum-opener Dhawan, looked extremely weak in their batting, and their woes compounded when they lost their opener Atharva Taide for a third-ball duck, with IPL debutant Yudhvir Singh being the wicket-taker.
Yudhvir then dismissed Prabhsimran Singh bowled for 4. Mathew Short (34) and Harpreet Singh (22) looked in good touch but were dismissed trying the force the pace of the innings.
Punjab were struggling at 75/4 in 11 overs. Sikandar Raza, who was slow to start with, then went on a six-hitting spree against Krunal Pandya, cracking 2 sixes and a four off the left-arm spinner, to build the momentum of the chase. Shahrukh came in the death overs to finish off the chase. He slammed a six off the first ball he faced against the bowling off Mark Wood before finishing the chase in the last over, slamming a four against Ravi Bishnoi.
Let’s scan the top three performances from the game between LSG and PBKS in IPL 2023
KL Rahul’s 74 & 4000 runs in IPL
LSG skipper was not in top form coming into this game. The pitch was also not greatly conducive for stroke-play. KL Rahul ensured he stayed till the end to help the team put up a fighting total. He played risk-free cricket in the beginning as his opening partner Kyle Mayers went after the bowling. Even as his partners looked for big shots and holed out in the deep, Rahul ensured he held one end up, ensuring the team had a competitive score to defend on a pitch not so conducive for stroke-play. It was a sensible batting from Rahul as he anchored the innings perfectly, while big hitters such as Stoinis and Krunal looked to up the ante. His 74 off 56 balls made the difference to the team’s total.
Sikandar Raza’s fighting 57
Playing his debut IPL campaign, Sikandar Raza came out with flying colours in the clash today, putting a few low scores behind. He was under pressure to not only score runs, but also play a few big strokes to keep the required run-rate down. He targeted Krunal Pandya and cracked two sixes and a four off the left-arm spinner. That set the tone for not only his performance, but also got the required momentum going for Punjab. Raza’s performance ensured that PBKS stayed alive till the very end for Shahrukh to finish it off. Raza’s 57 came off 41 balls with 4 fours and 3 sixes.
Yudhvir Singh’s early breakthrough 2/19
LSG was not defending a big score, and hence, they needed a few wickets upfront to put PBKS into the backfoot. IPL debutant Yudhvir Singh showed great nerve to open the bowling for LSG and took the wicket of Atharva Taide for a third-ball duck. He cramped Taide for room as the batsman was early into his stroke, and holed out in the deep to third man to Avesh Khan. Yudhvir then clean bowled Prabhsimran Singh for 4. Yudhvir showed great skills in getting the ball to move in sharply into the batter, and rattles the stumps.
Points Table Scenario & What's Next
Despite the loss, LSG maintain their position in the top four. They are currently placed 2nd with 6 points, having won 3 games out of 5. The win has pushed PBKS to fourth spot, with 6 points in 5 games. LSG and PBKS are on same points, but the former is ranked higher due to better net run-rate. LSG play Rajasthan Royals next on April 19. PBKS play RCB next on April 20.