Lucknow Super Giants overcame Rajasthan Royals in a last-over thriller by 10 runs at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Wednesday.
Royals looked well in control for most of the game, before LSG fought back in the middle stage of the home side’s chase for its first win over the Sanju Samson-led side in the IPL.
Marcus Stoinis (two for 28) and Avesh Khan (three for 25) were the pick of the bowlers for LSG, with the latter defending 18 off the last over as Royals fumbled what looked like an easy chase.
Royals’ openers Jos Buttler (40) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (44) started the chase sedately, before the latter waded into Yudhvir Singh in the third over, scoring a six and a four.
Buttler employed the reverse sweep to great effect to score boundaries against LSG’s Impact Player Amit Mishra as Royals’ opening duo got their side to a good start.
Jaiswal was the first to fall after he could only guide a Stoinis delivery into the hands of Avesh at short third-man. Skipper Sanju Samson quickly followed the opener back into the hut after a run-out.
Buttler’s uncharacteristically slow knock came to an end when he mistimed a Stoinis delivery straight to Ravi Bishnoi at deep mid-wicket.
Shimron Hetmyer (2), whose fiery knock helped Royals beat Gujarat Titans, fell early to Avesh as LSG inched its way back into the game.
Riyan Parag and Devdutt Padikkal were left with too much to do in the death as LSG bowlers delivered their side a win.
Earlier, Royals’ bowling unit was at its restrictive best as it contained Lucknow Super Giants to 154 after winning the toss.
LSG openers – KL Rahul (39) and Kyle Mayers (51) – found it hard to get going against some incisive new ball bowling from Trent Boult (one for 16) and Sandeep Sharma (one for 32).
Boult started with a tight over, holding the LSG skipper for a maiden.
The first sign of aggression for LSG came from the bat of the left-handed Mayers, who crashed Boult beyond the cover fence.
Rahul lived a charmed life, with the right-hander benefitting from two early dropped catches as LSG crawled to 37 in the PowerPlay.
Rahul soon departed after he offered Buttler a simple catch at long-on off Holder.
The away side’s decision to send in Ayush Badoni (1) quickly backfired as Boult had him bowled in his last over.
Ravichandran Ashwin (two for 23) dented Lucknow further with two blows. First, he forced Deepak Hooda (2) into a false shot, resulting in Hetmyer holding on to a skier at deep square-leg.
Next, the off-spinner slid a fast one underneath the bat of Mayers, who had just got to his fifty, to have him bowled.
None of the LSG batters found it comfortable against the wily Ashwin, who kept things tight with his accurate bowling. The 36-year-old conceded just six runs in the 18th over against Stoinis (21) and Nicholas Pooran (29).
Pooran found it easier against Holder, with the left-hander reeling in a six and a couple of boundaries in the 19th over to push his side to what would prove to be a match-winning total.
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