Nicholas Pooran smashed a match-winning 19-ball 62 while Marcus Stoinis made 65 as Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) prevailed over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by one wicket in a last-ball thriller in the Indian Premier League in Bengaluru on Monday (April 11).
Chasing 213, LSG rode on Pooran and Stoinis’ brilliance to eke out a memorable win. Pooran recorded the season’s fastest fifty, reaching the landmark in only 15 balls.
Earlier, captain Faf Du Plessis, Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell smashed blistering half-centuries as RCB posted an imposing 212 for two after being sent into bat.
While Du Plessis made an unbeaten 79 off 46 balls, Kohli took the centre stage initially with his 44-ball 61-run knock, as the duo shared 96 runs for the opening wicket after being sent into bat.
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LSG had a horrible start and lost Kyle Mayers to Mohammed Siraj in the third delivery of the opening over. RCB tasted their second success in the fourth over when Deepak Hooda got a faint edge to Dinesh Karthik behind the stumps off the bowling of Wayne Parnell.
To make matters worse for LSG, Parnell struck again a ball later when Krunal Pandya edged one to Karthik, as the visitors slumped to 23 for three in four overs.
Thereafter, Stoinis showed his batting prowess and took Harshal Patel and Karn Sharma to the cleaners to keep LSG in the hunt. Stoinis continued his onslaught and slammed Shahbaz Ahmed for two maximums to take LSG to 91 for three after the halfway stage while bringing up his fifty in 26 balls.
Stoinis then hammered Karn Sharma over the extra cover boundary, but the bowler had the last laugh as the Australian miscued a shot to be caught by Ahmed at deep point.
LSG skipper KL Rahul’s lean patch continued as he struggled to 18 off 20 balls before being caught by Kohli off Siraj in the 12th over.
Pooran used his long handle to great effect and smashed seven sixes and four boundaries to keep LSG in the hunt. Playing a gem of an innings, Pooran brought up his fifty off just 15 balls.
Pooran singlehandedly changed the complexion of the match with his big-hitting prowess and took LSG to within sniffing distance of a spectacular win.
Earlier, after a sedate start, Kohli smashed Avesh Khan for a six and four in consecutive deliveries in the second over to up the tempo.
Avesh was again at the receiving end of Kohli’s wrath as the former India captain clobbered the bowler for three boundaries in the fourth over.
High on confidence, Kohli then pulled Krunal Pandya over the fence in the next over.
Kohli was at his best as he hit straight over Mark Woods head for a boundary and then pulled the bowler over deep midwicket for a maximum.
Kohli brought up his fifty with a single off Ravi Bishnoi in the ninth over.
RCB skipper Faf du Plessis, on the hand, played the second fiddle and took his time. While Kohli went hammer and tongs, the South African played sensibly, hitting the bad deliveries to the fence.
Kohli finally departed in the 12th over when he pulled Amit Mishra to Marcus Stoinis at square leg.
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While Du Plessis struggled to get going initially, Glenn Maxwell (59 off 29 balls) announced his arrival at the crease with a four and six off Mishra.
Du Plessis opened up with three huge hits over the fence off Bishnoi in the 15th over as RCB raced to 137 for one.
Du Plessis, who was slow to start with, brought up his fifty with a fantastic lofted shot over Woods head.
Maxwell showed his worth as he went after the bowlers from the word go. But it was Du Plessis who went hammer and tongs towards the end, clobbering every LSG bowler out of the park.
It was raining sixes and fours from Du Plessis’ bat as the 18th over from Jaydev Unadkat fetched RCB 23 runs.
Maxwell matched stroke for stroke, punishing Avesh for back-to-back maximums to bring up his fifty off just 24 balls. Such was the onslaught that the duo brought up their century partnership in just 44 deliveries.
Maxwell departed in the penultimate delivery of the innings, cleaned up by Wood as the batter went for a heave.