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Match summary: Punjab batters lose the plot
Kolkata: Punjab Kings continued with their tradition of blowing hot and cold once again when their batters made a hash of a 154-run target against Lucknow Super Giants, handing the latter a 20-run win in their IPL 2022 match in Pune.
Debutants Lucknow hence defended what appeared to be a fighting, albeit below-par total, on a surface where batting was not easy. While they have to thank a disciplined bowling performance, Punjab batsmen failed to apply themselves – with the in-form Shikhar Dhawan failing to get a start while the two English batters – Liam Livingstone (18) and Jonny Bairstow (21) fell in quick succession as the pressure got to them.
Lucknow, who would be happy to return with two points from the scrap, found a new bowling hero in the nippy left-arm seamer Mohsin Khan. A homegrown bowler from UP, he returned with figures of 4-1-24-3 while Sri Lankan Dusmantha Chameera got two for 17.
Earlier, a 85-run partnership between Quinton de Kock (46 off 37 balls) and Deepak Hooda (34 off 28) propped up the Lucknow innings after Rahul fell to Rabada for six.
Enter Mohsin Khan
Mohsin Khan, the strapping left-arm pacer from Uttar Pradesh, seems to be the latest addition in the growing list of young pacemen making their mark in this IPL. He finishes with figures of 4-1-24-3 and provides the Lucknow management another viable option.
Punjab chase in disarray
Bairstow and Rishi Dhawan were the last recognised pair but the English batter (32 off 38 balls) reaches out at a wide Chameera delivery which gets an outside edge and is picked up by a charging Pandya at third man. The asking rate has now climbed to 12.5 and one doubts if their tail have what it takes.
Livingstone loses patience
Mohsin Khan comes back into the attack and strikes immediately. Livingstone, who looked in control of things, tried to scoop the seamer behind the stumps but fails to connect it well and De Kock completes a dolly. A vital wicket this...
Spinners call the shots
Bishnoi gets the big fish as Dhawan, who scored a masterly 88 in previous match, falls for five. Unable to break free for some time, Dhawan tries a slog sweep against Bishnoi but the latter's top spinner castles him. Soon after, Rajapaksa is lured to his doom by Krunal Pandya as Punjab are in pressure now.
The Punjab captain took on the role of the aggressor, slashing Chameera over point for a six. However, the Lankan has last laugh in their duel as Mayank (25 off 17) falls to a brilliant catch by Rahul.
Mid-match: Rabada, Chahar leave their mark
Kolkata: Lucknow Super Giants batters struggled in patches before cobbling together a fighting total of 153 for eight after being sent in to bat by Punjab Super Kings in Pune.
It was not an easy wicket to bat on and once K.L.Rahul, their in-form skipper, fell cheaply being caught behind to a superb delivery from Kagiso Rabada, their innings only flowered in patches. A 85-run partnership between Quinton de Kock (46 off 37 balls) and Deepak Hooda (34 off 28) was the saving grace for the IPL debutants.
The middle order ran out of imagination with Krunal Pandya, Marcus Stoinis and Ayush Badoni failing to get going as the classy Rabada was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4-0-38-4. Rahul Chahar was also impressive in his two-wicket haul.
The target of 154 may look a little below par, but it may not be easy for the Punjab batters.
Finally, some late flourish as young Mohsin Khan lifts Chahar for a maximum. In the next over, Chameera slams Rabada for two sixes and then perishes but gradually, Lucknow seem in threshold of a fighting total as it's not easy to bat here.
Punjab bowlers on top
Lucknow keep losing wickets in clusters on a wicket which is slowing down. Rahul Chahar has his first success of the night when he lures Stoinis to go for a drive by making room and is caught by the leg spinner off his own bowling. Can they get to the 150-mark from here?
The hard work from De Kock, Hooda comes undone as the latter is run out due to a casual running and then Pandya fails to get control of a big shot against Rabada and is caught at long off by Dhawan. Is LSG losing their way at the back-end of the innings?
De Kock falls
The South African and Hooda were beginning to cut loose when Sandeep Sharma, the seasoned IPL seamer, struck for Punjab. A slower delivery from him angles away from the left-handed De Kock whose attempted cut flies off to keeper Sharma for a simple catch.
De Kock and Hooda take Lucknow to 67 for one at halfway mark, and it's time to step up now. Hooda picks up leg spinner Livingstone for a big six but strokeplay seems somewhat challenging on this wicket.
Lucknow cross 50-mark
Deepak Hooda, who came in at No.3 with the off-form Manish Pandey being dropped, provides good support to De Kock. He picks up Rishi Dhawan for a big six over long off while De Kock looks in good touch as they are maintaining a run-rate in the region of seven.
Rabada gets the big fish
Enter KG and he removes the in-form KL Rahul in his first over. After making him play the first few deliveries, Rabada gets one to swing away late after pitching and Rahul was forced to nick at it at the last minute and Punjab keeper Jitesh Sharma completes a lovely diving catch.
A sedate start
Punjab seamers Arshdeep Singh & Sandeep Sharma keep things tight in the first two overs against Rahul & De Kock. Both getting some seam movement as the Lucknow openers also seem in no hurry.
Punjab opt to field
Welcome to Match no.42 of IPL 2022. Punjab skipper Mayank Agarwal wins the toss and elect to field against Lucknow. Can Rabada & Co make early inroads into the rival batting line-up?
Kolkata: Newcomers Lucknow Super Giants will once again hope to ride on the form of skipper K.L.Rahul when they take on Punjab Kings in the 42nd match of IPL 2022 this evening.
While both teams are coming out of wins, fourth-placed Lucknow look a more balanced team against Mayank Agarwal’s side (now seventh) which has blown a bit hot and cold so far. Lucknow had edged out an out-of-sorts Mumbai Indians by 36 runs in the previous game while Punjab had pipped Chennai Super Kings by 11 runs.
Shikhar Dhawan, the veteran Punjab opener who crossed 6000 runs in IPL in their last game, will be looking to give his team a flying start in Powerplay at the MCA Stadium if they are to make a match of it. Punjab can also take heart from the calm approach of young Arshdeep Singh in the death overs and the way they managed to keep Chennai at bay.
Lucknow batters, on the other hand, need to do justice to their reputation as the likes of Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda alongwith overseas allrounders Marcus Stoinis and Jason Holder have failed to fire so far.
Over then to the MCA Stadium in Pune…