IPL 2022: We are sticking to our plans, says Rahul after Lucknow take top position

Lucknow bundled out Kolkata, who were chasing 177 for victory, for 101 to replace fellow newcomers Gujarat Titans at the summit



Avesh Khan of the Lucknow Super Giants celebrates the wicket of Tim Southee of Kolkata Knight Riders. (BCCI)
Avesh Khan of the Lucknow Super Giants celebrates the wicket of Tim Southee of Kolkata Knight Riders. (BCCI)

By AFP

Published: Sun 8 May 2022, 12:21 AM

Fast bowler Avesh Khan helped Lucknow Super Giants hammer Kolkata Knight Riders by 75 runs on Saturday to go top of the IPL table as teams jostle to secure a playoff spot.

Lucknow bundled out Kolkata, who were chasing 177 for victory, for 101 to replace fellow newcomers Gujarat Titans at the summit, with the Twenty20 tournament moving towards its business end.

In the first match of the day, Rajasthan Royals beat Punjab Kings by six wickets to improve their chances of making the final four.

The result meant five-time winners Mumbai Indians crashed out of the playoff race after eight losses in 10 matches.

Quinton de Kock, who made a 29-ball 50, and Deepak Hooda, who hit 41 off 27 deliveries, put on 71 runs to the lay the foundation of Lucknow’s 176 for seven after being put in to bat first in Pune.

Kolkata were never in the chase after they lost their top four including skipper Shreyas Iyer, for six, and Aaron Finch, for 14, early. They fell to 25-4.

“Having skill is good, but bowling well under pressure and being brave, trusting the best ball on the wicket without being worried about who’s playing makes our bowling unit commendable,” said Lucknow skipper KL Rahul.

“I can’t think of any game where we’ve had a complete performance, and no team will find the perfect performance. We are sticking to our plans and winning which is great.”

West Indies big-hitter Andre Russell gave them some hope during his 19-ball 45 but the innings fell apart after his departure.

Russell attempted to turn the tide with three fours and five sixes but was caught at third-man off Avesh who finished with figures of 3-19.

West Indies’ Jason Holder wrapped up the Kolkata innings with two successive wickets and a run out.

The left-right batting pair of De Kock and Hooda set up victory after they took the attack to the opposition bowlers following Rahul’s run out for nought in the first over.

Marcus Stoinis, who hammered 28 off 14, and Holder, who made a four-ball 13, also added to the total with their breezy cameos and hit five sixes between them in a 30-run over from Shivam Mavi.

The IPL qualifiers begin on May 24 and the final is on May 29 in Ahmedabad.


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