Marcus Stoinis kept his nerves in the last over as Lucknow beat Kolkata by two runs. Lucknow, with this win, becomes the second team to qualify for IPL 2022 playoffs.
Quinton de Kock smashed the highest score of the ongoing season, an unbeaten 140 off 70 balls, while skipper KL Rahul hit 68 off 51 as the opening duo shared the highest ever partnership in IPL to take LSG to a challenging 210 for no loss.
In reply, KKR fell short by just two runs, scoring 208 for 8 in 20 overs, with Evin Lewis taking a stunning catch to turn the match on the head. Shreyas Iyer (50), Rinku Singh (40) and Nitish Rana (42) did the bulk of the scoring. Mohsin Khan (3/20), Marcus Stoinis (3/23) and K Gowtham (1/23) were among the wickets.
KKR got off to the worst possible start. Mohsin Khan packed openers Venkatesh Iyer and Abhishek Tomar inside the powerplay overs. However, Nitish Rana and Shreyas Iyer added quick runs and kept KKR in the hunt. Rana’s innings came to an end on 42(22), while Iyer chipped in with a 29-ball 50. Sam Billings was stumped on 36(24), and big man Andre Russell fell cheaply on 5(11).
However, Rinku Singh ensured KKR stayed in the hunt as he combined with Sunil Narine to push the match in the final over bowled by Marcus Stoinins. It took a one-handed beauty by Evin Lewis as Rinku’s cameo came to an end on 40(15). With three required of the final ball, Stonis cleaned up Umesh Yadav as KKR fell short by two runs in the end.
KL Rahul, the winning captain of Lucknow, says that they have missed games like these this season, and he is happy to be on the other side. Adds that they could have been so easy on the other side of the result. Tells that it’s an excellent way to finish their last league game. Credits both the teams for making such a brilliant game of cricket. Mentions that those last two balls, Stoinis executed the plan, and that was brilliant. Feels that they played really well and is delighted with the batting effort. Further says that they knew Kolkata would come hard, and he credits them for hitting the big shots. Calls it good learning for them and feels that this win will bring the team together.
KL Rahul praised Mohsin Khan and called him exceptional, who has got great skills and uses his variations very cleverly. Said that he has no doubt that Mohsin Khan will be donning the India jersey soon.