MUMBAI: Quinton de Kock's sensational ton and his record unbeaten partnership powered Lucknow Super Giants reclaimed the second spot in IPL 2022's points table and ensured their play-off berth as they beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 2 runs in a thriller at the Dr DY Patil Stadium, here on Wednesday night.
Lucknow Super Giants completed their league matches with 9 wins from 14 matches. Three-time champion KKR could not move to next level as they signed off with 6 wins from 14 matches.
Batting first, sensational hundred by Quinton de Kock (140 not out off 70) and a solid fifty by KL Rahul (68 not out off 51) helped Lucknow Super Giants to 210/0 in the 66th match. Then they restricted the opponent at 208 in allotted overs by taking 8 wickets.
After losing both openers Venkatesh Iyer and Abhijit Tomar inside 3 overs, captain Shreyas Iyer and Nitish Rana put on 56 runs partnership in 5 overs. Iyer scored 50 runs off 29 balls while Rana made 42 from 22 balls. Iyer went back when the score was 131 in 13.4 overs after adding 66 runs partnership with Sam Billings (36 off 24 balls). Andre Russell (5 from 11 balls) failed in the all important game. Then Rinku Singh and Sunil Narine kept hopes alive KKR. They required 21 runs from final over. Rinku hit one boundary and two sixes in first three balls of Marcus Stoinis and then took two runs in the fourth. But it was Lewis who took the stunning one handed catch to grab Rinku. He made 40 runs from 15 balls. Stoinis clean bowled Umesh Yadav in the final ball to seal a thrilling two-run win for the debutant. Narine remained unbeaten at 21 off 7 balls. Stoinis and Mohsin Khan took 3 wickets each.
Earlier, De Kock, who was given a life early in his innings, made KKR pay for it and he even overshadowed his opening partner KL Rahul with his knock. Both LSG batters remained not out till the last ball of the innings, didn't show any mercy on KKK bowlers and broke many records during the process.
Notably, it was for the first time a team batted the entire 20 overs in IPL without losing a wicket. It was also the highest opening stand ever in IPL history and the third highest partnership for any wicket in the cash-rich league.
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, openers Quinton de Kock and KL Rahul gave Lucknow a steady start by scoring 44/0 in the powerplay. De Cock, who was dropped at third man by debutant Abhishek Tomar off Umesh Yadav in the 3rd over of the innings, was the aggressor while KL Rahul was playing the second fiddle.
After the end of powerplay, KKR openers Sunil Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy bowled with discipline and didn't allow LSG batters to open their arms, conceding just 13 runs in next two overs.
Thereafter, KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer introduced Andre Russell into the attack and the batter dealt him by rotating the strike before De Kock launched the bowler for a six towards the long-on fence. On the other hand, Rahul also shifted gears and smashed Tim Southee for back to back sixers, taking Lucknow to 83/0 after 10 overs.
During the process, Rahul also crossed his 500 runs for the season. He became the second player to do so in five successive editions after Warner who did so in six.
With only two overs to go, both LSG batters dealt in sixes. The Lucknow skipper welcomed Southee with a six and then passed the strike to De Kock, who hit the pacer for three consecutive sixes as Kiwi bowler conceded 27 runs in the 19th over. The Quinton de Kock show also continued in the final over as he hit Andre Russell for four consecutive boundaries, took 19 runs off the over and helped Lucknow Super Giants post 210/0 on the board.
Tim Southee (0/57) was the most expensive bowler for KKR while the likes of Andre Russell (0/45) and Varun Chakaravarthy (0/38) were also not far behind in conceding runs.
Brief scores: Lucknow Super Giants 210/0 in 20 Overs (Quinton de Kock 140 not out, KL Rahul 68 not out) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 208/8 in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 50, Nitish Rana 42, Rinku Singh 40, Sam Billings 36, Mohsin Khan 3/20, Marcus Stoinis 3/23).
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