IPL 2022: De Kock lauds Lewis catch as Lucknow seal playoff spot

The South African and skipper KL Rahul put on the IPL's highest ever opening stand of 210



Quinton De Kock of Lucknow Super Giants plays a shot against Kolkata Knight Riders in Mumbai on Wednesday night.— BCCI
Quinton De Kock of Lucknow Super Giants plays a shot against Kolkata Knight Riders in Mumbai on Wednesday night.— BCCI

By AFP

Published: Wed 18 May 2022, 11:26 PM

Centurion Quinton de Kock and skipper KL Rahul put on the IPL's highest ever opening stand of 210 to help Lucknow Super Giants book a play-off spot with a thrilling two-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday.

Kolkata's Rinku Singh nearly pulled off victory in Mumbai with his 15-ball 40 but his departure on the penultimate ball saw Kolkata finish on 208-8 and bow out of the final-four race.

Marcus Stoinis defended 21 off the final over despite Singh's four and two sixes to start but he fell to a stunning one-handed catch by Evin Lewis as the fielder came running from deep backward point.

"I thought he (Stoinis) would defend it easily," said De Kock who was named man of the match for his 140 off 70 balls.

"But when the first three went, I thought the game was done for us. But that catch (from Lewis), turned things for us. As they say, good catches win matches."

De Kock smashed 10 sixes after Lucknow, one of the two newcomers alongside already-qualified Gujarat Titans, in the expanded 10-team Indian Premier League, elected to bat first.

Rahul made 68 off 51 deliveries but De Kock was unforgiving on the bowlers as he smashed New Zealand quick Tim Southee for four hit over the fence in a 27-run 19th over and then hit Andre Russell for four fours in the 20th.

The South African wicketkeeper-batsman survived a dropped catch on 12 and went on to score his second IPL century and dropped to the ground in an emotional celebration.

He hit this IPL's best individual score to better the 116 by Rajasthan Royals' batsman Jos Buttler.

'Exceptional' Mohsin

The left-right batting pair of De Kock and Rahul also surpassed the previous best first innings partnership of 185 between Jonny Bairstow and David Warner for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2019.

It's the third best partnership for any wicket after two top stands by Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers of 229 (2016) and an unbeaten 215 (2015) — both for the second wicket for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Two-time champions Kolkata lost openers Venkatesh Iyer, caught behind for nought with De Kock taking a superb diving catch, and Abhijeet Tomar, for four, to left-arm fast bowler Mohsin Khan who returned figures of 3-20.

"Mohsin has been exceptional. He has got great skill," Rahul said of his pace spearhead.

"He knows when to use the slow one and the fast one. I have no doubt he'd be donning the India colours soon. They are always looking for left-arm bowlers."

Kolkata lost wickets and hope after contributions by Nitish Rana, who made a 22-ball 42, skipper Shreyas Iyer, who fell for 50 off 29 balls and Sam Billings' 36.

But Singh and Sunil Narine, who made a seven-ball 21, took Lucknow by surprise with a partnership of 58 off 19 balls.

Stoinis held his nerve to get Rinku and then bowled Umesh Yadav on the final ball to trigger wild celebrations in the Lucknow camp.


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