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Match summary: Lucknow have a walk in the park

Kolkata: In what was one of the most one-sided matches in IPL 2022, Lucknow Super Giants pace bowlers capped a resilient effort by their batters to romp home against Kolkata Knight Riders by 75 runs in Pune in the evening game.

KL Rahul’s newcomers, sitting pretty with 16 points (eight wins from 11 matches), are now two points away from making the play-offs in their first season itself. It’s a testimony to the way they gelled as a team throughout the tournament, while KKR’s chances of staying afloat in the tournament has all but faded away with seven defeats in 11 games.

A target of 177 on this track demanded a lot of application from KKR batters, but the Lucknow pacers were all over their opponents soon as Mohsin Khan removed Baba Indrajith in the first over. The top order batters were found wanting and the only piece of resistance came from Andre Russell (45 off 19) before they were dismissed for 101 off 14.3 overs.

The sustained Lucknow pace attack had everyone coming to the party, but Avesh Khan (3/19) and Jason Holder (3/31) struck the most telling blows.

Spin strikes

The impact of Lucknow seamers had been so strong that Rahul brings on Bishnoi late but he strikes to break a 44-run stand between Russell and Rinku Singh. The latter tried to hoist the leg spinner through the shorter side but is snapped up by Pandya and deep wicket.

KKR staring down the barrel

The Knights have little hope of redemption at this stage with four key batters back in the hut - two being wicket maidens in favour of newcomer Mohsin Khan & Avesh Khan. They have looked completely out of sorts against a quality Lucknow pace attack and too much rides on the shoulders of Andre Russell & Rinku Singh now. 

Pressure builds on KKR

A forgettable Powerplay for the Knights (25/3) where they lose the wickets of Baba Indrajith, Shreyas Iyer and then the experienced Aaron Finch. Lucknow pacers Mohsin Khan and Dusmantha Chameera strike the hard length to reap returns before Finch falls to Holder. It's a tall order for KKR now.  

Mid-match summary: Lucknow receive late boost from Stoinis

Kolkata: Lucknow Super Giants survived a first over dismissal of their in-form skipper K.L.Rahul to eventually reach a potentially match-winning total of 176 for seven against Kolkata Knight Riders in Pune this evening.

Sent into bat on a surface which got slower, the IPL newcomers showed character to ride through some tricky phases to reach the total. A 71-run partnership for the second wicket between Quinton de Kock (50 off 29) and Deepak Hooda (41 off 27) was the most profitable one, but the middle order then found it difficult to push things along against Sunil Narine and the off-pace stuff from Andre Russell.

However, Marcus Stoinis, who had been able to make much of an impact with his new franchise, took on Shivam Mavi in the 19th over for four sixes to give them a much-needed boost. Jason Holder plundered another one as Mavi had a forgettable over by giving away 30 runs.

Chasing will not be easy for the KKR batting line-up, but then this is T20 cricket for you.

Stoinis takes on Mavi

Stoinis takes full advantage off three fuller Mavi deliveries as he despatches him for three maximums. Lucknow cross the 150-mark and look good to finish in the region of 180.

Slow going by LSG

It's been tough going by Lucknow as they lose both the settled batsmen, Hooda (41) and Pandya (25). Russell, brought in as the sixth bowler, is delivering with his off-pace bowling and the run-rate is hovering below eight now. However, Stoinis is there with young Badoni - let's see how much damage they can do in last three overs.

Lucknow cross 100-mark

Hooda and Krunal, whose spat in domestic cricket once led the former leaving his state of Baroda to play for Rajasthan, get together to milk an inexperienced KKR attack in the middle overs. They cross the 100-mark by 12 overs and look good for at least a 170-180 total on a surface where chasing will not be easy.

KKR pull back

Sunil Narine gives KKR the breakthrough as De Kock falls soon after reaching his half-century. The early signs are that spinners are getting a bit of grip and the Knights bowlers seem to be more in control now.  

Repair job

Quinton de Kock, joined by Hooda at No.3, uses all his class and experience to not let Rahul's dismissal bog them down. The South African picks up the nagging Southee for a big six on the onside and adds few more while Hooda also gets his tempo to keep the left-right combination ticking. They finish at 66/1 after Powerplay. 

Rahul goes in first over

Knights have their tails up as Rahul is run out in first over. Quinton de Kock shows hesitation in running for a hard single, sends his captain back as Rahul's counterpart Shreyas Iyer shatters the stumps at non-striker's end with an electric throw.

Kolkata opt to bowl

Welcome to Match 53 of the season. Kolkata skipper Shreyas Iyer wins the toss and elects to bowl at the MCA Stadium in Pune. Can they win their second game on the trot and keep themselves afloat?

Kolkata: The IPL 2022 action moves to Pune for the evening game of Super Saturday where a patchy Kolkata Knight Riders face a must-win tie against Lucknow Super Giants in order to nurse any hopes of staying in the race.

Lucknow, the newcomers who have revelled under the leadership of K.L.Rahul, are sitting pretty in second position of the points table while Kolkata had slipped after a promising start to languish in eighth spot now. The Knights may be still taking heart from their miraculous recovery last season when they ended as runners-up after being in seventh position (out of then eight teams) after the India leg, but it looks a tall order this time around.

The Knights had failed to settle their playing XI, thanks to too much chopping and changing, eventually losing faith in two of their retained players – last year’s star performer Venkatesh Iyer as well as mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy. Lucknow, on the other hand, have a settled look and they owe quite a bit to the planning and execution of mentor Gautam Gambhir – who ironically was the leader during KKR’s purple patch and both titles in 2012 and 2014.

It will be Match No. 53 of the season and the first meeting of the two teams. Both are coming out of wins in last matches, but the onus is on Shreyas Iyer’s men to pull off something extraordinary from here onwards to salvage their campaign.