Raza, Shahrukh star in Punjab’s win over Lucknow
Set to chase 160, Punjab was placed at a precarious 75 for four in the 11th over before Raza took matters in his hands coming up with a crucial knock under intense pressure.
LUCKNOW: Sikandar Raza’s all-round exploits and M Shahrukh Khan’s unbeaten 23 (10b, 1x4, 2x6) paved the way for Punjab Kings to beat Lucknow Super Giants by two wickets with three balls to spare. This is Lucknow’s second defeat in five matches, while Punjab has recorded its third win in five matches.
Set to chase 160, Punjab was placed at a precarious 75 for four in the 11th over before Raza took matters in his hands coming up with a crucial knock under intense pressure. He struck 57 (41b, 4x4, 3x6) to reduce the required run-rate. Towards the end, Shahrukh Khan clobbered a few lusty blows to the fence to guide his team home in a tense finish.
Earlier, Captain KL Rahul smashed his first fifty of this IPL season but Punjab Kings roared back with timely wickets to restrict his side Lucknow Super Kings to a modest 159 for eight here on Saturday.
On a two-paced wicket, Rahul displayed great composure and skills en route to his 56-ball 74 as he added 53 and 48 runs with Kyle Mayers (29) and Krunal Pandya (18) for the first and third wickets respectively.
The 30-year-old from Bangalore also became the fastest batter to reach 4000 runs in the IPL, achieving the feat in his 105th innings, surpassing West Indies’ Chris Gayle (112 innings).
However, Lucknow couldn’t finish things with a flourish as it lost four wickets for 48 runs in the last five overs.
Invited to bat, Rahul and Mayers provided Lucknow a flying start with the burly left-handed West Indian being the aggressor initially.
While Rahul dealt in boundaries, scoring three fours, Mayers dealt in maximums.
Mayers blasted Matthew Short over deep backward square leg and followed it up with a backward punch for another six over covers off Sam Curran. South African pacer Kagiso Rabada was then deposited into the stands with ease as Lucknow raced away to 40 for no loss in the powerplay.
With the pitch offering a bit of grip and turn, Sam Curran, who led Punjab in place of an injured Shikhar Dhawan, brought in the spinners.
Left-arm tweaker Harpreet Brar soon removed the dangerous-looking Mayers, who was holed out to deep backward square leg in the eighth over, while Sikandar Raza trapped Deepak Hooda (2) as Lucknow slipped to 62 for 2.
Rahul then combined with Pandya to take Lucknow past the 100-mark before Rabada returned to dismiss the latter in the 15th over.
Brief scores: Lucknow Super Giants 159/8 in 20 overs (KL Rahul 74, S Curran 3/31) lost to Punjab Kings 161/8 in 19.3 overs (S Raza 57)
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