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Nicholas Pooran and Krunal Pandya Keep LSG In Play-Off Hunt


A seven-wicket victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad in an Indian Premier League match on Saturday in Hyderabad allowed Lucknow Super Giants to regain playoff contention, and Nicholas Pooran lived up to his Rs 16 crore price tag by completing what appeared to be a challenging chase on a slick surface. On a track that grew slower as the game went on, a target of 183 was undoubtedly no easy task. However, LSG was able to surpass the mark with four balls to spare thanks to Pooran (44 not out off 13 balls), Prerak Mankad (64 not out off 45 balls), and Marcus Stoinis (40 off 25 balls).

LSG is currently in fourth place with 13 points after 12 games, trailing only Gujarat Titans (16 points), CSK (15 points), and Mumbai Indians (14 points). To guaranteed a spot in the last four rounds, they must win their next two games.

With a subpar showing, SRH’s latest tournament of non-performance has come to an end.

LSG stumbled to 114 for 2 and needed 68 runs from the next six overs as SRH maintained control of the game until the 15th over.

Abhishek Sharma, a part-time left-arm spinner, hammered for five sixes in the 16th over after Aiden Markram chose to give him an additional over.

Before holed out at the deep extra cover boundary, Stoinis smacked him for two maximums. When Pooran entered, though, the situation altered by his two 100-plus-meter sixes and one straight.

Mankad of Saurashtra deserves praise for his stuttering start in the middle overs. But after receiving encouragement from his instructor Gautam Gambhir during a strategic time-out, he changed his strategy and struck a straight six off T Natarajan.

Earlier, after choosing to bat first, Krunal Pandya produced a pair of back-to-back excellent deliveries before Heinrich Klaasen and Abdul Samad helped Sunrisers Hyderabad reach a respectable 182 for 6.

Lucknow Super Giants captain Krunal (2/24 in 4 overs), who isn’t known for turning the ball much, delivered two similar classical left-arm orthodox deliveries that had enough drift and turn to trick Sunrisers captain Aiden Markram (28 off 20 balls), and Glenn Phillips (0).

Markram drawn forward by Krunal in this instance before the ball passed his outer edge and tripped him.

And Phillips was on his back foot when the identical delivery, delivered at the same length, veered past his bat and pinned the off-stump back. The fact that the ball had a slight grip on both instances added to the bowler’s advantage.

However, Heinrich Klaasen (47 off 29 balls), unquestionably SRH’s finest batter, was in his natural attacking mode as his club reached a decent total thanks to his three fours and an equal amount of sixes.

The ideal pace of Krunal’s deliveries set him apart from leg-spinners Amit Mishra (1/40 in 4 overs) and Ravi Bishnoi (0/23 in 2 overs).

In Bishnoi’s case, he ultimately bowled half-trackers while attempting to bowl quickly. Mishra’s bowling didn’t help, since he moves through the air much more slowly now than he did when he was younger. The hitters had enough time to prepare their shots as a result.

After Krunal’s dismissals brought SRH to 115 for 5, Klaasen took charge and received assistance from Abdul Samad (37 not out off 25 balls), adding 58 runs in 6.4 overs to push the total above 175 runs.

The game was momentarily stopped near the conclusion of the SRH innings when the third umpire overturned the on-field umpire’s assessment that an Avesh Khan full toss was a fair delivery even though it appeared to be a no-ball.

That upset the crowd, which must have caused the LSG dugout to temporarily halt play, and Klaasen lost focus, missing out on a richly deserved half-ton.

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