Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) edged a nerve-wracking Indian Premier League (IPL) tie against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by one wicket at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Monday.
Harshal Patel nearly defended five runs off the final over but Dinesh Karthik’s fumble helped the visitors sneak a bye with one needed from one ball.
When seven runs were required from nine deliveries, Impact Player substitute Ayush Badoni (for Amit Mishra) scooped Wayne Parnell over the fine-leg boundary but unfortunately hit the wicket on the follow-through. But he would taste salvation not long after.
LSG chased down the stiff 213-run target, despite being reduced to 23 for three, on the back of two swashbuckling half-centuries from Marcus Stoinis (65, 30b, 6x4, 5x6) and Nicholas Pooran (62, 19b, 4x4, 7x6).
Stoinis, sporting a minimalist’s air, smashed Harshal, Karn Sharma and Shahbaz Ahmed for 45 runs across three overs to shift momentum. RCB excised Stoinis and KL Rahul in a span of four balls, but couldn’t arrest the flow of runs.
At that stage, LSG needed 108 off 53 balls and Pooran played like a man possessed, blasting everything in sight, to score this season’s fastest fifty (15b), brought up with a towering six over long-on off Parnell. Badoni (30, 24b, 4x4) and the tail ensured the effort didn’t go waste.
Earlier, after being asked to bat, Virat Kohli (61, 44b, 4x4, 4x6), Faf du Plessis (79 n.o., 46b, 5x4, 5x6) and Glenn Maxwell (59, 29b, 3x4, 6x6), took turns to flay the LSG attack.
Kohli’s first hit to the boundary – a top-edged six over fine-leg – wasn’t indicative of his recent form. The rest of the shots were, like the two fours through extra-cover off Avesh Khan and the six over deep mid-wicket off Mark Wood.
But from 56 for no loss (six overs) RCB struggled, as Ravi Bishnoi and Krunal Pandya bowled three boundary-less overs. Leggie Mishra snapped up Kohli three balls after being introduced.
Du Plessis then took charge. The skipper, who was on 33 from 30 balls, hammered Bishnoi for back-to-back sixes, with the second a monstrous shot over long-on. The half-century (35b) came when he sent Wood soaring over long-off.
Maxwell completed a flamboyant fifty, replete with cross-batted heaves, audacious swats and inventive slices. The Aussie and du Plessis collected 57 runs from overs 17 to 19, but it was LSG who had the last laugh.
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