Krunal propels Lucknow Super Giants to five-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad


Krunal Pandya plays a shot during the Indian Premier League match in Lucknow on Friday. AP

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. They have the same points as defending champions Gujarat Titans and Punjab Kings, the two unbeaten sides, but sit on top via a better net run rate of +1.358.

Krunal was undoubtedly the pick of the bowlers for Lucknow, constantly attacking the stumps to pick a tidy 3-18 in his four overs.

Krunal-bowling Krunal Pandya appeals successfully for the wicket of Anmolpreet Singh of Sunrisers Hyderabad. AP

Veteran leg spinner Amit Mishra, who missed last year’s tournament, vindicated his return to the IPL with 2-23 in four overs on the slowest pitch of the season so far.

“I am happy to play a limited role for the side,” said Mishra, 40. “There is less bounce on this black soil wicket, and that’s the beauty of different conditions in the IPL. We did well to win in these conditions.”

The Sunrisers tried hard to fight fire with fire but their own spin attack took too long to yield results with too small a total to defend.

Lucknow scored 127-5 in 16 overs and Pandya also shone with the bat, scoring 34 off 23 balls for the third wicket. But it was his left-arm spin that sealed the win, with Mayank Agarwal sent back for eight and Aiden Markran falling for a golden duck during his debut as skipper on consecutive balls.

‘Tried to fight’

“We didn’t really have enough runs on the board. It wasn’t a great wicket for batting,” said Markram.  “We tried to fight and scrap as much as we could, but they bowled well as per the conditions. We didn’t have any momentum at all.”

Leg spinner Ravi Bishnoi took 1-16 for Lucknow and now has six wickets in three outings. He trails English teammate Mark Wood, who has eight wickets in two games but missed Friday’s match to illness.

SunrisersHyderabad-Lucknow Fazalhaq Farooqi celebrates after taking the wicket of Kyle Mayers of Lucknow Super Giants. AP

Skipper KL Rahul anchored Lucknow’s innings with a sedate 35.  Hyderabad has now lost both its opening games and is languishing at the bottom of the IPL points table.

Lucknow leads the tournament with its second win in three games.

They next face Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday, when flashy South African Quinton de Kock will hope to return after sitting out Friday’s home match.

Agence France-Presse / INAS


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