Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) skipper K.L Rahul’s splendid century (103* off 60) ensured a sixth consecutive defeat for Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. The 18-run win took LSG to the second spot in the points table, with four wins and a net run rate marginally below the other new franchise, Gujarat Titans (GT).
Starting cautiously, Rahul looked in absolute control as he belted nine fours and five sixes in his 100th IPL match. He made the milestone match memorable by striking his third ton of the tournament.
MI are now the third team to lose their first six games of a season, after Delhi Capitals (then Delhi Daredevils) in 2013 and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2019.
After inconsistent shows with the ball and bat, Mumbai’s woes were further compounded by poor fielding. With bat, Dewland Brevis (31 off 13), Suryakumar Yadav (37 off 27) and Kieron Pollard (25 off 14) kept their hopes alive in the 200-run chase but fell 18 runs short.
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With Rahul stepping out of the field due to a hamstring strain, Krunal Pandya stepped into the captain’s shoes against his former franchise, where he had spent his first six seasons. However, Rahul was back in the 19th over.
Lucknow Super Giants 199/4 in 20 overs
Lucknow were off to a brisk start courtesy of their former Mumbai player Quinton de Kock (24 off 13), which allowed Rahul to buy some time. They were watchful against Jasprit Bumrah (4-0-24-0) and took calculated risks against the others.
Rahul launched himself in the fifth over, against Tymal Mills, hammering him for a four and two sixes. Rohit Sharma introduced Fabien Allen in the next over, who dismissed de Kock, but Lucknow still raced to 57/1 in the Powerplay.
Rahul then found good company in his Karnataka teammate Manish Pandey (38 off 29). The duo was aided by some ordinary fielding by Mumbai. They added 72 in 47 balls before Pandey fell to M. Ashwin.
After Stoinis fell in the 17th over, Deepak Hooda (15 off 8) joined the act and added 43 in 21 balls with Rahul, who slammed his first century of IPL 2022. Both centuries of this season have come against Mumbao.
Mumbai Indians 181/9 in 20 overs
Rohit’s lean phase continued as he fell to Avesh Khan (4-0-30-3) in the third over for his fifth consecutive score under 30. Mumbai’s hopes were revived by South African teen sensation Brevis, who earned the moniker ‘Baby AB’ for his uncanny resemblance in stroke-making with South African legend A.B. de Villiers.
Brevis took on the attack, blasted a 13-ball 31 with six fours and a six. Then, just when the Powerplay was about to end, he miscued a low full-toss from Avesh. Mumbai were 57/2 after six overs. But three balls after they lost Brevis, their INR 15.25 crore investment Ishan Kishan (13 off 17) chopped a ball from Stoinis to the stumps.
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Suryakumar and Tilak Varma (26 off 26) stitched 64 off 48 balls to keep Mumbai in the hunt. Jason Holder castled Varma with a yorker, which brought Kieron Pollard to the crease. At this stage Mumbai needed 79 in 34 balls.
An over later, Suryakumar was deceived by a quick, short ball from Ravi Bishnoi and pulled it straight to deep square leg.
Pollard and Jaydev Unadkat’s (14 off 6) late blitz gave MI the glimmer of hope, but the target would have been within reach if they had bowled and fielded better.
With six defeats in as many games, Mumbai, the five-time IPL champions, will require a miracle to make it to the Playoffs.
Lucknow Super Giants 199/4 in 20 overs (K.L. Rahul 103*; Jaydev Unadkat 2-32) beat Mumbai Indians 181/9 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 37; Avesh Khan 3-30) by 18 runs. Player of the Match: K.L. Rahul