Punjab Kings (PBKS) defeated Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) by two wickets in another thrilling Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 encounter at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Saturday, April 15.
The Kings rode on Sikandar Raza’s maiden IPL fifty and contributions from Mathew Short and Shahrukh Khan to chase down 160 with three balls to spare. Earlier, Sam Curran’s three-wicket haul helped the Kings restrict the Super Giants to 159/8 in their 20 overs.
The Kings previously suffered a massive blow as Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out of the game due to an injury. In the absence of Shikhar, star all-rounder Curran was leading the side.
Captain Curran won the toss and opted to field first. PBKS made four changes to their playing XI, bringing in Atharva Taide, Harpreet Singh Bhatia, Sikandar Raza and Rahul Chahar. They also named Prabhsimran Singh, Nathan Ellis, Mohit Rathee and Rishi Dhawan as their substitutes.
For LSG, Yudhvir Singh Charak made his IPL debut, while Amit Mishra, Jaydev Unadkat, K Gowtham, Prerak Mankad and Daniel Sams were named as substitutes.
KL Rahul and Kyle Mayers opened the innings for the hosts. Interestingly, Australian all-rounder Matthew Short bowled the first over for PBKS.
Rahul and Mayers got LSG off to a great start as the duo scored 49 runs in the first six overs.
The two LSG openers forged a 53-run opening stand before left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar provided the visitors the much-needed breakthrough as he removed Mayers for a 23-ball 29.
Deepak Hooda joined Rahul in the middle. The pair could add only nine runs before Raza trapped Hooda (2) in front of the stumps.
Following Hooda’s dismissal, Krunal Pandya walked out to bat. Rahul and Pandya played sensibly as LSG reached their hundred in 12.4 overs.
Meanwhile, Rahul continued to play an impressive knock as he brought up his first fifty of IPL 2023.
In the 15th over, PBKS star pacer Kagiso Rabada bowled a sensational over to remove Pandya (18) and Nicholas Pooran (0) to put the visitors in a good position.
With the score reading 111/4, Marcus Stoinis joined Rahul at the crease. Stoinis and Rahul slammed Chahar for 15 runs in the 16th over, and later accumulated 12 runs off Rabada’s fourth over.
However, skipper Curran soon broke the 31-run partnership as he got rid of Stoinis for 15.
The Kings continued to pick up wickets at regular intervals as Arshdeep Singh bagged the huge wicket of Rahul (74) in the 19th over.
After Rahul was dismissed, LSG introduced Krishnappa Gowtham as their impact player in place of Mayers.
Curran later took the wickets of Gowtham (1) and debutant Yudhvir (0) to restrict LSG to 159/8 in their allotted overs.
The PBKS captain was the wrecker-in-chief for his side as he finished with figures of 4-0-31-3.
Before the start of the chase, PBKS introduced Prabhsimran Singh as their impact player in place of Chahar.
Atharva Taide and Prabhsimran Singh opened the innings for PBKS. Chasing 160, the visitors lost an early wicket as Atharva (0) perished to Yudhvir in the very first over.
Batting at no.3, Matthew Short got off to a blitzkrieg start as he smashed Avesh Khan for three fours in the second over.
Prabhsimran also got off the mark with a boundary before Yudhvir cleaned him up in the very next ball.
Harpreet Singh Bhatia joined Short in the middle. The Australian continued to play some scintillating shots before he was dismissed by Gowtham for a quick-fire 34 off just 22 balls.
Struggling at 45/3, Sikandar Raza walked out to bat. Harpreet Singh and Raza stitched a 29-run stand for the fourth wicket to keep PBKS in the hunt.
Harpreet later perished to Pandya for run-a-ball 22.
With 85 needed off 54 balls, captain Curran joined Raza in the middle.
Raza played some attacking cricket as he clobbered Gowtham for a six in the 12th over, before smashing Pandya for 17 runs in the following over.
LSG leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi later bagged a huge wicket as he removed Curran for 6.
Wicketkeeper-batter Jitesh Sharma walked out to bat at no.7.
At the other end, Raza continued his brilliant innings as he notched up his maiden IPL fifty off 34 balls.
The visitors later lost their sixth wicket as Jitesh (2) perished to Wood in the 16th over.
With PBKS still needing 38 runs off 25 balls, Shahrukh slammed Wood for a six on the very first ball that he faced.
Shahrukh and Raza added 17 runs off 12 balls before the Zimbabwean cricketer was dismissed by Bishnoi for 57.
Brar and Shahrukh later accumulated 13 runs off Wood’s final over before the England pacer removed Brar.
Rahul gave Bishnoi the 20th over as PBKS needed seven runs off the last six balls.
Shahrukh took the responsibility as he managed four runs in the first two balls before smashing the third delivery for a boundary to help the Kings register a thrilling victory.
Having registered three wins and two losses, the PBKS outfit has moved to the fourth spot in the IPL 2023 standings.
The Kings will aim to continue their winning momentum when they lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their upcoming IPL 2023 clash at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Thursday, April 20.