Indian Premier League


The Punjab Kings lost to Lucknow Super Giants by 20 runs at Pune’s Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Friday, April 29 in the Tata Indian Premier League match.

Despite a brave effort from Bairstow of 32 (28) and a shiny four-wicket haul from Kagiso Rabada, LSG turned out to be the better team on the field, grabbing the two points at stake.

PBKS Captain Mayank Agarwal won the toss and put the Giants in to bat first. Kagiso Rabada brought in the first breakthrough, taking out LSG’s captain and opener KL Rahul for just 6 (11). However, the next man in Deepak Hooda, partnered with the other opener, Quinton de Kock in an 85-run partnership before the latter fell at 46 (37) to Sandeep Sharma.

A run-out affected by Bairstow sent Hooda back soon after for 34 off 28, while Rabada came back with a double-strike, taking out Krunal Pandya and Ayush Badoni for a run-a-ball seven and four each in the same over. By the end of the 15th over, the Lucknow Super Giants stood at 109/5, with PBKS earning the upper hand.

Rahul Chahar pocketed a few wickets post that, taking out the capable Marcus Stoinis for just 1 (4) with an exceptional return catch. He followed that up with Jason Holder’s wicket in his next and final over, sending him off for 11 (8) just when he was starting to look explosive. Chahar finished with figures 4-0-30-2.

Dushmantha Chameera and Mohsin Khan then contributed with the bat. Rabada took out Chameera at 17 (10), and finished his four-over quota of the game with figures 4/48. Khan remained not out at 13*(6), finishing with a four and taking LSG to 153/8 at the end of 20 overs.

Despite a slow start to the chase by the Punjab Kings, a 15-run third over from Mayank Agarwal off Mohsin Khan gave the team some much needed momentum. However, the captain for the Men in Red departed in the fifth over, holing one out to KL Rahul off Chameera at 25 (17).

Fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan had a rare off day, departing for 5 (15) to Bishnoi. Jonny Bairstow and Bhanuka Rajapaksa were the new batters in, but the latter did not have as much success in this game, with Krunal Pandya sending him off for 9 (7). Liam Livingstone came in for the Sri Lankan at three down.

The Bairstow-Livingstone duo played some good shots, striking an 18-run 10th over off Ravi Bishnoi to take the team to 85/3 in 11 overs. The duo stitched together a 30-run stand before the younger English batter, Livingstone, was caught behind on a Mohsin Khan delivery.

In the next over, Krunal Pandya took out new batter Jitesh Sharma to register a wicket maiden. However, it was followed by an 11-run over, orchestrated by Bairstow against Bishnoi, taking PBKS to 103/5 in 15 overs. The Kings needed 51 runs in five overs, with Bairstow and Rishi Dhawan at the crease.

The coming over, the Kings lost Bairstow for 32 (28) off Chameera, landing a big blow to the chase. It brought in Kagiso Rabada to bat. Two overs later, in the eighteenth over, Mohsin Khan took out both the South African and his replacement at the crease, Rahul Chahar, in a single over. The equation was down to needing 37 off 12 balls, and after Chameera’s penultimate over, PBKS needed 31 off the last over to win.

With Rishi Dhawan on the crease and a first-ball six, the Kings retained a slight glimmer of hope. He further followed that with a hard hit four over bowler Avesh Khan’s head to reduce the equation to needing 21 off the last four. However, Khan bowled four dots on the trot to win it for the Giants by 20 runs.

The Kings now have four wins in nine games, and will next face Gujarat Titans on May 03, where the team will look to bounce back to winning ways.