IPL 2023: Avesh, Stoinis star as Lucknow Super Giants beat Rajasthan Royals by 10 runs

 Rajasthan Royals had an 87-run opening partnership between Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Buttler but impressive performances by Lucknow Super Giants bowlers, led by Avesh Khans 3/25 and Marcus Stoinis 2/28 helped their team win by ten runs in an IPL 2023 match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, here on Wednesday.

At the mid-stage of the game, Rajasthan keeping Lucknow to 154/7 in 20 overs looked like a below-par total on a two-paced pitch. Till the 11th over, Rajasthan didn’t lose any wicket and seemed to be cruising towards the target.

But Stoinis taking out both openers got the match in Lucknow’s favour and from there, the boundaries began to dry up as required run-rate climbed up, resulting in Rajasthan making 144/6 in their 20 overs.

Chasing 155, Jaiswal looked good after surviving an lbw decision via review on the very first ball off Naveen-ul-Haq. He drove Yudhvir Singh through cover for four and then quickly picked the short ball to pull for six.

On the other hand, Buttler, after his initial struggles, found his range by swatting Yudhvir for a 112-m massive six over deep mid-wicket. Jaiswal slashed hard at a length ball from Avesh in the final over of power-play, and the edge flew towards ul-Haq at short third man, who dropped the catch and conceded a four.

Jaiswal also hammered a drive for four, followed by Buttler pulling in the gap through the leg-side to hit the third boundary of the over. Post power-play, Rajasthan got their fifty and Buttler punched Ravi Bishnoi through the off-side on a no-ball.

After Buttler took two boundaries on reverse-sweeps off impact player Amit Mishra, Jaiswal easily dispatched Stoinis for a six over deep mid-wicket fence. But two balls later, Stoinis had the last laugh as Jaiswal hit straight to short third man for a low catch.

With the required run rate going upwards of eight, Rajasthan lost captain Sanju Samson as his desperate late dive post a mix-up left him a yard short of reaching the crease at the striker’s end.

In the 14th over, Buttler, while trying to pull off Stoinis, holed out to deep mid-wicket. Two overs later, Lucknow struck again when Shimron Hetmyer toe-ended a big heave to long-on. Devdutt Padikkal broke a spell of 31 balls without boundaries with a punch past Bishnoi for four in an over yielding only six runs.

He then took three boundaries off Stoinis in the 18th over, with the pull past deep square leg being the standout. With 29 needed off the last two balls, Riyan Parag heaved high over deep mid-wicket for six, but ul-Haq gave away only ten runs in the penultimate over.

Because of the slow-over rate, Lucknow could keep only four fielders outside the 30-yard circle in the final over. Though Parag hit the first ball for four, Avesh bounced back by having Padikkal nick behind to keeper and Dhruv Jurel holing out to long-on, thereby sealing the game in Lucknow’s favour.

Brief Scores: Lucknow Super Giants 154/7 in 20 overs (Kyle Mayers 51, KL Rahul 39; Ravichandran Ashwin 2/23, Trent Boult 1/16) beat Rajasthan Royals 144/6 in 20 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 44, Jos Buttler 40; Avesh Khan 3/25, Marcus Stoinis 2/28) by 10 runs.

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