Lucknow leads IPL after thumping Kolkata by 75 runs

May 7, 2022 GMT

PUNE, India (AP) — Lucknow Super Giants surged to the top of Indian Premier League after thrashing Kolkata Knight Riders by 75 runs on Saturday.

Also, Rajasthan Royals beat Punjab Kings by six wickets at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium to stay in the top four.

The two new franchises this season -- Lucknow and Gujarat Titans -- were tied on points after 11 games but Lucknow had a healthier run-rate of 0.703 than Gujarat’s 0.120.

Kolkata capitulated to the season’s second lowest score when it was bowled out for 101 by Lucknow with more than five overs to spare.

Lucknow put up 176-7 thanks to Quinton de Kock’s 5 up front and support from Marcus Stoinis (28) and Jason Holder (13).

Stoinis and Holder smacked fast bowler Shivam Mavi (1-50) for five sixes in the penultimate over despite the Australian allrounder holing out to mid-on off the fourth delivery.

The Kolkata batters struggled against the pacey short-pitched deliveries of young fast bowler Avesh Khan, Holder and Mohsin Khan, who shared seven wickets between them.

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Andre Russell threatened briefly by smashing five sixes and three fours in his 19-ball knock of 45 but Avesh had the hard-hitting batter caught at short third man off a top-edged pull in the 13th over.

Holder, who took a brilliant diving catch to dismiss Russell, missed out on a hat trick to close the match when he dismissed Sunil Narine and Tim Southee but No. 11 Harshit Rana was run out off the next delivery while attempting a reckless third run.

RAJASTHAN BATTERS RULE AGAINST PUNJAB

Rajasthan revived its campaign with the first successful run chase this season.

It reached the target of 190 against Punjab with two balls and six wickets to spare.

Opening batter Yashasvi Jaiswal made an impactful 68 in a brisk start with run machine Jos Buttler, who scored 30 — 20 off one over by Kagiso Rabada — before falling to the South African pacer.

Punjab posted a decent 189-5 thanks to Jonny Bairstow’s 56 off 40 balls, Jitesh Sharma’s 38 not out, and Liam Livingstone’s 22.

But Punjab remained seventh on the table while Rajasthan stayed third.

Legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal (3-28) pulled back Punjab in the middle overs by claiming the wickets of Mayank Agarwal and Bairstow in one over. But Jitesh and Livingstone lifted the total as Punjab scored 67 runs in the last five overs.

In the chase, Buttler reached 600 runs this season by hitting Rabada for a six over wide midwicket and following it with three boundaries before trying a scoop of a wide delivery and getting caught at short third man.

Skipper Sanju Samson added a cameo of 23 off 12 balls then Devdutt Padikkal, demoted down the order, and Jaiswal added 56 runs before Jaiswal was picked on the edge of the boundary by Livingstone.

But Rajasthan overhauled Punjab after Shimron Hetmyer blazed three fours and two sixes in an unbeaten 31 off 16 balls.

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