Sunil Narine (1/20) and Andre Russell (2/22 in 3 overs) did relatively well for Kolkata Knight Riders in Umesh Yadav’s absence at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Saturday. But pacer Shivam Mavi was carted for five sixes in the 19th over of the game, which propelled Lucknow Super Giants to a challenging total of 176 for 7.
Lucknow’s quicks, thereafter, were all over the Knight Riders batsmen with their immaculate line and length. And in the process, the Knights were bundled out for 101 with still 33 balls remaining.
This embarrassing defeat means the Knights’ prospects of making the play-offs is only a mathematical possibility at present, as they remain at No.8. For Lucknow, they moved up to the top spot with 16 points after this massive
75-run victory, having a superior net run rate than Gujarat Titans. On a two-paced wicket, left-arm quick Mohsin Khan’s superb spell (3-1-6-1) with support from Dushmantha Chameera, who extracted awkward bounce to take the prized scalp of KKR captain Shreyas Iyer, made matters all the more tougher for the Knights.
Even Jason Holder (3/31), keeping aside the over where he took a pounding from Russell (45) and conceded 25 runs, executed the short ball quite well along with Avesh Khan (3/19). The short stuff helped Holder dismiss Aaron Finch.
Once Avesh dismissed the dangerous-looking Russell with yet another short ball, it was game, set and match for Lucknow.
Skipper Shreyas’ brilliant direct throw that sent back KL Rahul, who departed without facing a ball, had given the Knights a perfect start. In such a situation, the in-form Umesh’s presence would certainly have been a blessing. He could have exerted further pressure on Quinton De Kock (50) and Deepak Hooda (41).
But Harshit Rana, who replaced Umesh (out with a calf-muscle issue) wasn’t at all effective. Neither was left-arm spinner Anukul Roy. Such lapses allowed Lucknow to post a winning total.