The Lucknow Super Giants demolished the Kolkata Knight
Riders by 75 runs at the MCA Stadium in Pune to jump into the top spot in the
points table and leave Shreyas Iyer’s side on the verge of elimination with
seven losses in 11 matches. Having set a formidable total of 176 in the first
innings, Lucknow completely ripped through the Kolkata batting line-up in the
run-chase as Avesh Khan and Jason Holder picked up three wickets apiece to
dismiss the Knight Riders for the second-lowest score of the season.
Despite losing their captain KL Rahul for a diamond duck in
the powerplay, the Lucknow Super Giants got off to a lightning start thanks to
some excellent shot-making from Quinton de Kock. Noticing that the wicket was
slightly two-paced, the South African took full advantage of the field
restrictions and hard new ball. De Kock went 4, 6, 4 against Tim Southee in the
third over, while his partner Deepak Hooda took on the KKR spinners Sunil
Narine and Anukul Roy as the Super Giants put on 66 runs in the first six
However, after the initial onslaught, the Super Giants lost their
momentum through the middle overs. Quinton de Kock made the mistake of taking
on Sunil Narine and departed shortly after reaching his half-century, while
Andre Russell dismissed Deepak Hooda and Krunal Pandya, who struggled for
timing throughout his knock of 25 from 27.
The two West Indians kept things tight to put KKR in a
commanding position heading into the death, but the penultimate over bowled
Shivam Mavi changed the complexion of the match. Bowling to a shorter leg-side
boundary, the seamer was taken for five sixes and 30 runs by Marcus Stoinis and
Jason Holder, propelling the Lucknow Super Giants to an above-par total.
Chasing 177 was never going to be easy for a Kolkata batting
line-up struggling for any consistency, but the Knight Riders were blown out of
the water in the powerplay itself as the Lucknow pacers reduced them to 25 for
four in seven overs. Mohsin Khan kicked things off with a wicket maiden against
Baba Indrajith before Dushmantha Chameera & Jason Holder removed Shreyas
Iyer and Aaron Finch with some well-targeted short-pitched bowling. Avesh Khan
followed that up with the second wicket maiden of the innings that included a
searing yorker to see the back of Nitish Rana.
The constant flow of wickets was temporarily halted by a
free-swinging Andre Russell, who smashed five sixes and three fours in his 19
deliveries. However, the Jamaican was always tempting fate with his high-risk
strategy and eventually edged one to the fielder at third man on 45. Russell’s
dismissal signalled the end of any KKR fightback as Lucknow picked up the final
five wickets for just 15 runs to register an emphatic 75-run victory.