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IPL 2024: Nicholas Pooran’s late burst guides LSG to respectable 161/7 against KKR

Author : IANS

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Kolkata, April 14 (IANS) Nicholas Pooran stood up yet again with a late batting burst to top-score with 45 and guide Lucknow Super Giants to a respectable 161/7 against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.

It was an innings from LSG where they stumbled a lot on a two-paced pitch and never gave the feeling of momentum being firmly in their hands. It took Pooran’s 45 off 32 balls, laced with two fours and four sixes, to take LSG past 160. After making 21 runs in his first 21 balls, Pooran collected 24 runs off his next 11 balls to lend some respectability to the visitors’ total.

For KKR, Mitchell Starc was the pick of the bowlers by picking up 3/28, while an impressive Sunil Narine, Vaibhav Arora, Varun Chakravarthy and Andre Russell also bagged a wicket each in a pleasing bowling performance from the hosts’, who are aiming to beat LSG for the first time in IPL.

Pushed into batting first, Quinton de Kock got going with back-to-back driven fours off Starc. Arora began the second over with a wide and no ball, before being lofted for six by KL Rahul. But the pacer bounced back by angling the delivery away from de Kock, who went for a drive on the up and outside edge was caught by short third man.

Rahul then smashed Starc for fours via pull and drive, even as Deepak Hooda was being troubled by away-going balls and fending a bouncer awkwardly from the fast-bowler. Starc finally took him out in his third over of power-play by forcing Hooda to go hard at a wide delivery, and Ramandeep Singh dived full length to take a stunning catch at backward point.

Rahul and Ayush Badoni took a four each off Harshit Rana in the last over of power-play as LSG ended the six-over phase with 42/2. After that KKR kept things tight to force a slowdown till Badoni picked a four off Chakravarthy, while Rahul upper-cut Russell for six.

But KKR bounced back as Rahul pulled straight to deep mid-wicket off Russell. Marcus Stoinis pulled him for a brace of fours, but didn’t last long as he inside-edged to his pads off Chakravarthy and wicketkeeper Phil Salt took an excellent one-handed catch. Badoni perished in a bid to go big against Narine, top-edging a sweep to deep backward square leg.

Pooran began his onslaught by heaving Harshit for six, before pulling twice off Arora for a brace of maximums in the 18th over. He had luck on his side in the 19th over when top-edge flew over short third man for four, while another top-edge beat diving square leg to fetch him two fours.

But Starc ensured there were no more fireworks from Pooran in the final over by having him caught behind while trying to hit off a wide delivery. Impact player Arshad Khan hit a four, before his stumps were left in an almighty mess by Starc, who conceded just six runs in the final over.

Brief Scores: Lucknow Super Giants 161/7 in 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 45, KL Rahul; Mitchell Starc 3-28, Andre Russell 1-16) against Kolkata Knight Riders

--IANS

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