IPL 2023: K.L. Rahul, Krunal Pandya lead Lucknow to five-wicket victory over Hyderabad
Skipper K.L. Rahul and left-arm spin all-rounder Krunal Pandya shared a 55-run partnership off 38 balls for the third wicket to lead Lucknow Super Giants to a comfortable five-wicket victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium on Friday.
After Krunal starred with a three-fer in a disciplined Lucknow bowling performance to keep Hyderabad to a modest 121/8 on a sluggish black soil pitch, he joined forces with Rahul to complete an easy chase with four overs to spare.
Chasing 122, Lucknow cruised to 35/0 in four overs. While Rahul was solid in his drives and flicks to pick three fours, Kyle Mayers had some luck as bails didn’t fall off after being beaten by Fazalhaq Farooqui, apart from picking two boundaries.
Farooqi had success in the fifth over as Mayers pulled straight to deep square leg. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was hit for a huge six by Deepak Hooda down the ground in the last over of Power-play. After four dot balls, Bhuvneshwar had Hooda’s wicket by taking a low one-handed catch to his left for completing a caught-and-bowled dismissal.
Post Power-play which had just two overs of spin, Rahul punched Adil Rashid through deep cover, followed by Krunal driving Aiden Markram sweetly through extra cover. Krunal used his feet well in launching Rashid over long-on for six, before driving and pulling off T. Natarajan and Umran Malik for boundaries.
After slicing Umran over mid-off for four on the first ball of the 13th over, Krunal fell on the very next ball in an attempt to cut and gave an outside edge to keeper Anmolpreet Singh. Marcus Stoinis hit boundaries off fast bowlers through fine leg and down the ground to bring Lucknow closer to victory.
But Rahul fell in the 15th over, trapped lbw while going for a reverse sweep on a leg-break off Rashid. On the very next ball, Rashid trapped Romario Shepherd lbw with a googly. Nicholas Pooran swept Rashid for four, before finishing off the innings with a six launched over square leg off Natarajan.
Sunrisers Hyderabad 121/8 in 20 overs (Rahul Tripathi 34, Anmolpreet Singh 31; Krunal Pandya 3-18, Amit Mishra 2-23) lost to Lucknow Super Giants 127/5 in 16 overs (KL Rahul 35, Krunal Pandya 34; Adil Rashid 2-23, Fazalhaq Farooqui 1-13) by five wickets