LSG tame RR in a low-scoring game

Marcus Stonis’ all-around performance (a 16-ball 21 and 2-28) enabled Lucknow Super Giants to defeat Rajasthan Royals by 10 runs in Jaipur to maintain second place in the standings. The visitors held the Royals to 144 for 6 after posting 154 for 7 because of Kyle Mayers’ fifty and Nicholas Pooran’s late blitz, despite an 87-run opening stand between Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal.

KL-Mayers’ partnership

The Lucknow Super Giants got off to a very sluggish start. KL Rahul and Kyle Mayers didn’t make many attacking strokes despite Trent Boult’s tight lines. In his first two overs, the left-arm bowler bowled 11 dot balls. In the powerplay, the openers only scored 37 runs, with the first running at run-a-ball 17 and the second even slower at 18-ball 16. The IPL 2023 powerplay score was the lowest ever recorded without a wicket being lost. Shot-making was challenging on a pitch that stayed low despite having a hard surface. In 46 balls, the pair reached their half-century partnership but thereafter went separate ways for a few overs. 

Jason Holder was flat-batted for a six over the far-off boundary by Mayers, who then off-drove Chahal for another maximum in the subsequent over. With a boundary and a six in those two overs, KL Rahul joined his opening partner in the attack.

After being put down twice earlier in the innings (on 6 and 12), Rahul holed out to Buttler at long-on. By the time the pair was split up, LSG had gained up speed and was 82 for 1 in 10.4 overs. a fleeting misstep

Twenty balls later, Rajasthan Royals had four strikes. After Rahul was out, Boult came back to bowl his final over and finished off Ayush Badoni, who missed a lap shot. When Deepak Hooda was caught at deep midwicket by Ashwin and Mayers was dismissed, LSG was reduced to 104 for 4 in 14 overs. By that time, Boult’s spell was over, and he provided results of 1 for 16.

Sluggish acceleration

Stonis got off to a strong start by reverse-sweeping Ashwin for a boundary as most batters struggled to get going early. Although Nicholas Pooran, his partner at the other end, battled for the majority of his stay, the hard-hitting Australian was able to rotate the strike with ease. 

Pooran, a fellow West Indian, beat Jason Holder for two boundaries and a six in a 17-run over, turning the game around in the last over.

Buttler Jaiswal’s stand

Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal were content to start out slowly because their total appeared to be below average. Jaiswal only scored one run in his first five balls, whereas Buttler scored five runs in his first 14 pitches before hitting his first boundary. While both hitters took several chances and even managed to score 47 runs during the power play, they didn’t seem to be having any problems.

There wasn’t much of a threat from the bowlers on a slow-turning track, save for one thick edge off Jaiswal that was dropped by Naveen ul haq at short third while he was batting on 22, in the sixth over. Before the southpaw was eventually bowled in the 12th over, cutting to Avesh at short third, the pair went on to add 87 runs for the first wicket. Buttler was still smoothly gliding at run-a-ball 35 even at that time. 

Stonis causes the stumbling

The stutter began with the fall of Sanju Samson, who was attempting a quick single but fell short of his crease due to some run-related miscommunication with his partner, Buttler. Quickly after, the opener was caught at deep midwicket.

On the sluggish, low-playing surface, hard lengths and slower balls performed well, making it difficult for batters to time their shots, especially because one end of the boundary was so long. In doing so, Stoinis successfully claimed the wickets of the LSG openers.

The strategy enabled LSG to stifle RR’s scoring and even set the way for the dismissal of hitters who were too aggressive with their shots, such as Shimron Hetmyer, who top-edged an Avesh ball to Rahul at long on a few overs later. LSG also lost ground, falling to 104 for 4 in 15.1 overs, a similar position.

The unexpected late surge that never took arrived

In this final over, Impact Substitute Devdutt Padikkal smacked Stonis for three boundaries, but Riyan Parag’s difficulties at the other end didn’t help. Despite three boundaries from Stoinis’ previous over, the needed rate kept rising swiftly, and RR was left needing 19 runs in the final over.

Due to LSG’s slow overrate, there was one additional fielder inside the 30-yard circle, which Avesh Khan had to face and overcome despite being hit for a boundary off the opening ball. To put an end to RR’s hopes, he had Padikkal caught behind and Dhruv Jorel caught at long-on.

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