Super Giants spinners leave Sunrisers in a tangle, make it a walk in the park

April 08, 2023 12:00 am | Updated 05:42 am IST - LUCKNOW

Krunal scalps three, including Markram for a golden duck; Mishra, Bishnoi prove ideal foil; Lucknow chases down the target with four overs to spare

It was a night to remember for Krunal Pandya. After his mesmerising spell (three for 18) restricted Sunrisers Hyderabad to 121 for eight, the left-hander played a cameo (34, 23b, 4x4, 1x6) to engineer Lucknow Super Giants’ five-wicket win in an IPL match at the Ekana Cricket stadium here on Friday.

It was Krunal’s 55-run stand for the third wicket with skipper K.L. Rahul (35) that put Super Giants on course. Though leg-spinner Adil Rashid produced a double strike — he removed Rahul and LSG debutant Romario Shepherd off consecutive deliveries — it came a bit too late for Sunrisers who succumbed to their second straight loss.

In the PowerPlay, Rahul and Kyle Mayers (13) judiciously chose their moments to attack as Lucknow began briskly. Though Mayers and Deepak Hooda (7) fell in quick succession, No. 4 Krunal stepped in to neutralise the Rashid threat. The left-hander lofted the England spinner over long-on for a six and also punished the loose deliveries. Though Krunal fell to Umran Malik with the score on 100, he had done enough to swing things Super Giants’ way.

Nicholas Pooran not only survived Rashid’s hat-trick delivery, but also top-edged the ball for a four. He then clubbed T. Natarajan for a six to signal victory.

Earlier, the Super Giants spinners extracted the maximum from the slow and low pitch. If Krunal was the standout performer, Amit Mishra (two for 23) and Ravi Bishnoi (one for 16) played the perfect support cast, the trio conceding just 59 in 12 overs.

Opting to bat, Aiden Markram’s men struggled on a wicket where the ball skidded through and didn’t encourage strokeplay. Opener Mayank Agarwal was an early victim when he chipped Krunal straight to Marcus Stoinis at extra-cover off a delivery which stopped on him.

Krunal varied the pace and kept the batters on a tight leash in the PowerPlay though Anmolpreet Singh broke the shackles by hitting him for consecutive boundaries in the fifth over. Rahul Tripathi, after a nervous start, scooped Unadkat over fine-leg for a boundary but only 43 came in the first six overs. In between, Anmolpreet successfully reviewed a lbw decision after missing a slower ball from Yash Thakur. However, Krunal dealt a twin blow in his third over to push Sunrisers deeper into the abyss.

Anmolpreet’s luck with the DRS ran out as he was trapped in front. Markram was bowled for a golden duck by a beauty.

Sunrisers slipped further when Ravi Bishnoi lured Harry Brook (3) out of his crease and wicketkeeper Pooran did the rest. Tripathi and Washington Sundar couldn’t force the pace in the middle overs as the spinners held sway.

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