IPL 2023: Tactical mistakes cost Punjab as Lucknow batters run riot

KL Rahul's side racked up the second highest total in tournament history


Leslie Wilson Jr

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Marcus Stoinis of Lucknow Super Giants play a shot against Punjab Kings. — IPL
Marcus Stoinis of Lucknow Super Giants play a shot against Punjab Kings. — IPL

Published: Fri 28 Apr 2023, 11:47 PM

Skipper Shikhar Dhawan gamely shouldered responsibility for Punjab Super Kings' disappointing 56-run defeat to Lucknow Super Giants in a humdinger of an IPL match on Friday.

Punjab’s bowlers made a complete mess of the game after Dhawan won the toss and put Lucknow in to bat first at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali, which was the first mistake that he admitted making.

Dhawan also conceded that he should have played an extra spinner after Lucknow’s top batters went to town against his pace attack which resulted in a massive score of 257 for five, which came close to eclipsing Royal Challengers Bangalore’s record total of 263 in 2013.

Here are five factors that made the difference between winning and losing.

Melting under pressure

Realising that it had a mighty task on hand, Punjab attempted to make a match of it despite losing its inspirational skipper Shikar Dhawan in the very first over and Prabhsimran Singh (9 from 13) in the fourth.

Atharva Taide (66 from 36) and Sikandar Raza (36 from 22) bravely put their heads and hearts together in a 72-run partnership that went a long way to keep the Punjab Kings' faint hopes alive.

Given that the Punjab Cricket Association pitch was a batsman’s paradise, runs were there for the taking but the pressure was killing the batters. Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, and Jitesh Sharma all chipped in with tidy knocks but the big innings were conspicuously not there and that eventually made the difference.

Seizing control

The Super Giants capped a meteoric batting performance with some disciplined bowling that enabled it to seize control of the match early. The intent with which Marcus Stoinis, Naveen-ul-Haq and Yash Thakur bowled in particular, hitting the right line and length, did not allow the Punjab batsmen time to settle into a grove which prevented a big innings around which a comeback could have been built.

Taken to the cleaners

One wonders if the Lucknow Super Giants batters set out to rewrite IPL history. How it attacked the Punjab bowlers in the powerplay was nothing short of mayhem. Even though it lost skipper KL Rahul (12 from 3) in the fourth over Kyle Mayers (54 from 24) and Ayush Badoni (43 from 24) picked up the gauntlet and took the bowlers to the cleaners.

The run-scoring was breathtaking and Royal Challengers Bangalore's record score of 263 for five in 2013 always looked under threat.

The Stoinis blitz

If the Punjab Kings was looking for some sort of respite after Mayers’ departure, they were in for a rude shock. LSG’s number four, Marcus Stoinis (72 from 40) was even more devastating. The all-rounder, who once blasted six sixes in an over in his native Australia, put on an exhibition of big-hitting that knocked the wind out of Punjab’s bowlers. Even the highly regarded Arshdeep Singh and Kagiso Rabada gave away over 100 runs between them and the feisty Sam Curran was made to look so ordinary that he only bowled three overs (38 runs).

Change of approach

If there is one key factor that the IPL has proven is the significant change of approach, particularly by teams batting first. Winning the toss has become something of a curse. Because, if the right thing to do is to chase, then within a few overs it's proven to be the wrong call.

Ten of the last 12 matches in the IPL have all been won by the team’s batting first.


> 263-5 — RCB vs PWI, 2013

> 257-5 — LSG vs PBKS, 2023

> 248-3 — RCB vs GL, 2016

> 246-5 — CSK vs RR, 2010

> 245-6 — KKR vs PBKS, 2018


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