Lucknow Super Giants' Avesh Khan celebrates a wicket against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur on Wednesday. Image Credit: ANI

Jaipur: Avesh Khan and Marcus Stoinis were the pick of the bowlers as Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) overcame hosts Rajasthan Royals in a low-scoring clash in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.

Avesh Khan and Stoinis ended up with figures of 3/25 and 2/28 respectively as table-toppers Rajasthan Royals, who were looking on course for victory in their chase of Lucknow’s 154/7, were restricted to 144/6 in their 20 overs, losing the match by 10 runs.

In a low-scoring thriller, LSG held their nerves as they defended the lowest target of this season of the IPL at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here. Batting first, in a tricky Jaipur wicket, an opening partnership of 82 runs helped the Giants put up a score of 154/7.

Different roles

For most of the chase, Rajasthan Royals looked like getting to the target easily with both openers Yashasvi Jaiswal (44) and Jos Buttler (40) stitching a partnership of 87. Jaiswal was the first to be removed by Stoinis in the 12th over followed by Sanju Samson and Buttler in the 13th and 14th over respectively. It was a batting collapse from there on.

Avesh Khan was the star bowler and successfully defended 18 runs in the final over and also picked up two wickets in that over.

On Thursday, he threw light on his different roles in the Lucknow Super Giants set-up.

Slow start

“If we are bowling first, I get the first or second over and if we are defending, I bowl the crucial overs such as the 4th or 6th over, depending on the situation of the game,” Avesh Khan told JioCinema.

“I have also told my captain and coaches that you can make me bowl anywhere and I am always available for my team to bowl the tough overs. So, I always try to not think about when I will get the chance to bowl but whenever I get the opportunity, I always aim to get a wicket for the team,” Avesh was quoted as saying in a release.

Despite winning the game, LSG did not have a great start while batting. They had a slow start at the Power-play including a maiden.

Calculative risks

JioCinema IPL expert RP Singh believes KL Rahul is not playing the way he used to, “KL Rahul never used to play like this, he used to always have a good strike rate, take the attack to the opposition and play good shots but here he seemed to be stuck and under pressure. I might be wrong, but he is probably thinking that his form might return after playing a big innings. His form is not bad, he is still playing his shots, but he is not being able to find those gaps in his shots, he should take those calculative risks which he is not taking.”

“He has stopped hitting many of his shots. He is looking at rotating the strike more, he might have changed his role as well, but he is not that kind of player. He is kind of a player who can change the course of the match in a blink when he starts hitting with his bat,” Singh added.