The Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) secured their spot for the playoffs in the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 after beating the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 2 runs on Wednesday at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
Quinton de Kock’s monumental knock of 140* and his record unbeaten opening-stand of 210 with skipper KL Rahul helped LSG secure a 2-run victory in a high-scoring thriller.
Chasing a mammoth target of 211, KKR lost Venkatesh Iyer’s wicket in the first over, bowled by Mohsin Khan after Quinton de Kock took a fine diving catch behind the stumps.
KKR then lost debutant Abhijeet Tomar’s wicket after the right-handed batter was caught by skipper KL Rahul inside the circle.
Nitish Rana and Shreyas Iyer led KKR’s recovery with an excellent counter-attacking fifty partnership. Rana took the attacking route and creamed nine fours inside the powerplay and KKR were 60/2 at the end of 6 overs.
K Gowtham put an end to the dangerous partnership after Rana holed out to the deep. Sam Billings joined skipper Shreyas Iyer and was immediately on the move with 2 fours and a six and KKR were 99/3 at the halfway stage.
The fifty partnership was up for the duo and KKR looked in control of the chase. Mohsin Khan conceded only 2 runs in the 13th over.
Marcus Stoinis broke the partnership after Iyer was caught in the outfield and the KKR skipper was out after scoring a quick-fire fifty. Avesh Khan bowled a brilliant over and only conceded 2 runs as KKR required 77 off 30.
Ravi Bishnoi and Mohsin Khan increased LSG’s chances of victory after dismissing explosive batters Billings and Russell respectively.
34 runs were conceded off the next two overs after Rinku Singh and Sunil Narine added two fours and two sixes each and KKR required 21 off the final over.
Rinku Singh smacked two sixes and a four but was out for 40 courtesy of Evin Lewis’ spectacular catch. Marcus Stoinis castled Umesh Yadav with KKR requiring 3 run off the final delivery and LSG successfully defended the target.
Earlier, LSG, who opted to bat first, made three changes – Manan Vohra, Evin Lewis and K Gowtham were named in the eleven.
LSG were off to a steady start and were after 3 overs after Quinton de Kock got a reprieve and dispatched the first maximum of the innings.
LSG were 44/0 at the end of the powerplay after skipper KL Rahul smacked a six over deep backward square leg.
The openers switched gears after Rahul punched consecutive sixes against Tim Southee and LSG were 83/0 at the halfway mark.
Both – Quinton de Kock and skipper KL Rahul reached their respective half-centuries and the runs kept flowing at rapid pace from the LSG openers, who were dealing in boundaries.
18 runs came off the 16th over after de Kock clobbered two sixes and a four off Varun Chakaravarthy’s bowling and the 150 partnership was up for the opening stand.
de Kock reached his second IPL century with a four before the left-handed batter dispatched four clean strikes for six against Southee in the penultimate over.
LSG reached 210 without the loss of any wicket after de Kock creamed four fours in a row in the final over and stitched the highest-ever opening partnership in the history of the season.
Brief Scores: Lucknow Super Giants 210/0 (Quinton de Kock 140*, KL Rahul 68*; Sunil Narine 0/27) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 208/8 (Shreyas Iyer 50, Rinku Singh 40; Mohsin Khan 3-20) by 2 runs.