A surface offering some assistance for bowlers does put batsmen to a little bit of test. Captain KL Rahul (68) and Deepak Hooda (51) cleared that test with distinction as their respective knocks as well as an 87-run partnership helped Lucknow Super Giants to a challenging total of 169 for 7 after they were put in to bat by Sunrisers Hyderabad at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Monday.
Thereafter, pacer Avesh Khan (4/24) ensured Rahul and Hooda’s hard work didn’t go waste as his timely strikes helped Lucknow to a 12-run win, securing the newcomers their second straight win in the competition.
The Sunrisers were still very much in the game when Nicholas Pooran and Washington Sundar were at the crease, and they required 27 off 17 balls with six wickets in hand. That’s when Avesh struck again.
After dismissing Kane Williamson and Abhishek Sharma early on, Avesh bowled an awkward-height full toss to first remove a set Pooran and then induced an edge off Abdul Samad’s bat off the very next ball, as that game-changing 18th over gave Lucknow the upper hand.
With 16 needed off the final over, experienced West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder (3/34), in his maiden appearance in this IPL, struck thrice as 157 for 9 was all the Sunrisers could manage.
The pitch, in all fairness, wasn’t a batting paradise and Lucknow didn’t get off to a good start either. They limped to 32/3 at the end of the Powerplay overs. However, Rahul and Hooda’s fourth-wicket stand, which was all about strike rotation and taking calculative risks, helped Lucknow towards posting a competitive total on the board.
While Rahul needs to be credited for the way he shaped his innings on the tricky wicket, Hooda too deserves accolades for his wonderful temperament that took the pressure off the Lucknow captain. The partnership was certainly game determining.