MUMBAI: Rajasthan Royals on Sunday survived the onslaught by Marcus Stoinis to pip Lucknow Super Giants by 3 runs in match 20 of the Indian Premier League 2022.
Chasing 166, Lucknow needed 34 off the last 2 last over with just two wickets in hand but Stonis smoked two sixes off the pacer Prasidh Krishna in the 19th over and accumulated 19 runs. Kuldeep Sen kept his calm and bowled a fine last over to seal the match for Rajasthan.
Earlier, Rajasthan batted first after losing the toss but their top-order could never get going. Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson and Rassie van der Dussen fell without making any contribution of note. Devdutt Paddikal could only manage 29 runs off 29 balls. At one stage, Rajasthan were reeling at 67-4 in 10 overs.
Shimron Hetmyer, who is in terrific form, once again stepped up to the plate and unleashed a whirlwind innings of 59 off just 36 balls. His innings was embellished with 6 sixes and one four. R Ashwin also chipped in with 28 runs and added 68 runs with Hetmyer for the fifth wicket before he became the first batsman to be retired out in the IPL.
Hetmyer remained unbeaten on 59 and steered his team to 165 in 20 overs.
Lucknow’s top-order was decimated by Trent Boult and Prasiudh Krishna who bowled with bite and precision. Wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock was the only batsman who offered some resistance and made 39 runs off 32 balls. Later, Yuzvendra Chahal ran rings around Lucknow’s batsmen and snaffled four crucial wickets.
Krunal Pandya and Stoinis scripted a fightback in death overs but in the end Lucknow fell short by 3 runs. Stoinis remained unbeaten on 38 runs off 17 balls.
Chahal was declared Man of the Match for his superlative performance.
“These kind of totals can be a bit tricky at times. The plan was to throw the bowlers off their lengths a bit but didn’t happen. But we’re a side that would continue to try being unpredictable in the coming games too. We couldn’t execute our plans at the end. At the end, it was excellent from Stoinis to get it close and to do it in his first game of the season will give him confidence,” said KL Rahul, the captain of Lucknow.
It feels good to be on top of the table. Kuldeep Sen has done well and he is confident to go and execute his wide yorker which he has been working on in the off season. His skills are commendable,” stated Rajasthan captain Samson.
“Chahal is someone who can be given the ball anytime from overs 1 to 20. He’s the greatest leg-spinner, if I can say, that India’s seen in the present. I thought why not use him more at the end when the pressure is more,” he added.