KL Rahul was an elated captain as Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) registered a resounding 75-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Match 53 of the IPL 2022 at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Saturday (May 7).
Invited to bat first, LSG posted 176/7 in their 20 overs with significant contributions from Quinton de Kock (50 off 29 balls) and Deepak Hooda (41 off 27 balls). Marcus Stoinis (28 off 14 balls) and Jason Holder (13 off 4 balls) also played notable cameos with the bat.
In reply, the Knight Riders were bowled out a paltry 101 in 14.3 overs. Avesh Khan starred with the ball for LSG, picking three wickets by conceding only 19 runs in his three overs. Jason Holder (3-31) also took three scalps but he was quite expensive in his 2.3 overs while Mohsin Khan (1-6), Dushmantha Chameera (1-14), and Ravi Bishnoi (1-30) claimed wicket apiece.
“Played really well, started well with the bat, except for the run out. Was a tricky wicket. Knew it was going to be slow and sticky. Had to get around 150-160. The way Quinton and Deepak batted, made it look easy. Big hitting from Stoinis and Jason gave the momentum,” Rahul said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“We started superbly with the ball, put the ball in the right areas, couldn't have asked for more. Trust them a great deal (his pace battery). Having skill is one thing, but knowing what to do when is important. They've been put under pressure a couple of times but they've stuck to their strengths and been brave with the ball. That's all we can ask for. Keep trusting what the best ball is on that wicket,” he added.
During the chase, seven KKR batters fell for a single-digit score. Andre Russell fought a lone battle with the bat, scoring 45 off 19 balls with 3 fours and 5 sixes.
“Dre Russ going like that is scary at times. We do have some plans before the game, and what's good to see is they remember those plans under pressure. If we go for runs from there then that's acceptable. Still can't think of any game where we've had a complete performance,” Rahul said.
With this victory, Lucknow Super Giants overtook Gujarat Titans to claim the top spot on the points table but the captain feels his team still has areas to improve on.
“Still areas to improve. Don't think any team is going to be perfect anyway, we aren't chasing that. Every one wants to contribute which is great to see. Don't know if we're peaking at the right time but we're getting the wins, we're doing what is expected of us, sticking to our plans,” he concluded.