IPL 2023: All-round Krunal Pandya takes Lucknow to comfortable five-wicket win over SRH

Lucknow, April 7 (IANS) Krunal Pandya’s all-round show first helped the Lucknow Super Giants to restrict Sunrisers Hyderabad to 121/8 on a sluggish black-soil pitch in tenth match of IPL 2023 at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium on Friday.
Pandya then chipped in with 34 off 23 balls and shared a 55-run partnership off 38 balls for the third wicket with captain K.L. Rahul, who top-scored with 35, to complete chase of 122 with four overs to spare and take the side to a comfortable five-wicket victory. Their second victory at home meant Lucknow are the new table-toppers in the ten-team competition.
Krunal was undoubtedly the pick of the bowlers for Lucknow, constantly attacking the stumps to pick a tidy 3-18 in his four overs. Veteran leg-spinner Amit Mishra took 2-23 while Ravi Bishnoi, and Yash Thakur chipped in with a scalp each.
Lucknow drew first blood in the third over as Mayank Agarwal went for an uppish drive against Krunal, but he was undone by the flight and ended up giving a tame chip to cover. Anmolpreet Singh got some boundaries with lovely punch, sweep and chip over mid-off.
Though Anmolpreet survived an lbw appeal off Thakur in the final over of Power-play, he didn’t have the same luck in the eighth over as Krunal trapped him lbw with a flatter and quicker delivery on stumps going past the bat to hit the back pad.
On the very next ball, Krunal’s tossed-up delivery kept low and skidded past Aiden Markram’s bat to rattle his off-stump, sending the SRH skipper back for a golden duck.
Bishnoi entered the wicket-taker’s column by setting up Harry Brook with three consecutive quick googlies, before the leg-break was slipped in to beat an advancing Brook on the outside edge and was stumped easily.
Rahul Tripathi and Washington Sundar went on the defensive to stitch a 39-run partnership off 50 balls. Tripathi got some boundaries through the off-side, including off a reverse-sweep, to give the score bit of a push.
But in a bid to ramp off Thakur in the 18th over, Tripathi was caught by Mishra at short third man, diving full length to his left to grab a stunning catch with both hands. In the next over, Mishra had Sundar and Adil Rashid holing out to long-on and long-off respectively.
It took Abdul Samad’s cameo of 21 off 10 balls, including two sixes off Jaydev Unadkat in the final over, to help SRH cross 120-mark. In reply, Lucknow cruised to 35/0 in four overs. While Rahul was solid in his drives and flicks to pick three fours, Kyle Mayers had some luck as bails didn’t fall off after being beaten by Fazalhaq Farooqui, apart from picking two boundaries.
Farooqi had success in the fifth over as Mayers pulled straight to deep square leg. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was hit for a huge six by Deepak Hooda down the ground in the last over of Power-play. After four dot balls, Bhuvneshwar had Hooda’s wicket by taking a low one-handed catch to his left for completing a caught-and-bowled dismissal.
Post Power-play which had just two overs of spin, Rahul punched Rashid through deep cover, followed by Krunal driving Markram sweetly through extra cover. Krunal used his feet well in launching Rashid over long-on for six, before driving and pulling off T Natarajan and Umran Malik for boundaries.
After slicing Umran over mid-off for four on the first ball of 13th over, Krunal fell on the very next ball in an attempt to cut and gave an outside edge to Anmolpreet. Marcus Stoinis hit boundaries off fast bowlers through fine leg and down the ground to bring Lucknow closer to victory.
But Rahul fell in the 15th over, trapped lbw while going for a reverse sweep on a leg-break off Rashid. On the very next ball, Rashid trapped Romario Shepherd lbw with a googly. Nicholas Pooran swept Rashid for four, before finishing off the innings with a six launched over square leg off Natarajan.
Brief scores:
Sunrisers Hyderabad 121/8 in 20 overs (Rahul Tripathi 34, Anmolpreet Singh 31; Krunal Pandya 3-18, Amit Mishra 2-23) lost to Lucknow Super Giants 127/5 in 16 overs (KL Rahul 35, Krunal Pandya 34; Adil Rashid 2-23, Fazalhaq Farooqui 1-13) by five wickets

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