Lucknow Super Giants moved up to the fifth spot in the IPL 2024 points table with their first victory in this year’s competition. Quinton De Kock, Krunal Pandya and Nicholas Pooran contributed with the bat while debutant Mayank Yadav impressed with the ball as LSG comprehensively defeated Punjab Kings by 21 runs. As a result of the defeat, PBKS are currently sixth with 2 points from 3 matches. Chennai Super Kings are the leaders followed by Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
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India unearthed a new fast-bowling star in Mayank Yadav (3/27) who stole the limelight with his searing pace amid the usual flurry of monstrous hits as Lucknow Super Giants humbled Punjab Kings by 21 runs in the IPL here on Saturday.

Asked to bat first, floater Krunal Pandya’s late blitz powered LSG to a competitive 199/8.

Opener Quinton de Kock top-scored for LSG with a 38-ball 54 but it was stand-in skipper Nicholas Pooran’s 21-ball 42, which infused life into his team’s innings in the middle overs.

On the back of two sixes and four boundaries, Krunal then scored at a strike rate of 200 to finish on a 22-ball 43 and give his side extra cushion.

That total proved to be enough for LSG, who registered their first win of this IPL thanks to Mayank’s exploits. Punjab, who ended at 178/5, missed Liam Livingstone‘s service as he was injured.

In the 12th over of Punjab’s innings, Mayank bowled the tournament’s fastest ball at 155.8 kmph.

It was Mayank’s extra pace that rattled Jonny Bairstow, Prabhsimran Singh and Jitesh Sharma and led to their downfall. He consistently clocked 150 and above on the speedometer during his four-over spell, emerging as the night’s hero.

This was after the dashing opening combo of Shikhar Dhawan (70 off 50 balls) and Bairstow (42 off 29 balls) quickly got the measure of what looked like a very good surface for batting, both getting a few boundaries to set the ball rolling.

PBKS skipper Dhawan made a statement of sorts when he reverse-swept M Siddharth over backward point.

Thanks to their attacking approach, PBKS raced to 61 for no loss in the power play and continued in the same vein with Dhawan bringing up his fifty with a maximum off Ravi Bishnoi.

Bairstow was equally marauding and struck Krunal Pandya for two successive sixes as the visitors crossed 100 in the 11th over.

Bishnoi put the brakes on PBKS’ scoring with a tight 11th over, giving away just three runs, and that forced Bairstow to go after Mayank but the batter miscued and ended up throwing away his wicket. It was the fast bowler’s maiden IPL wicket.

Prabhsimran blazed away to a seven-ball 19 before becoming Mayank’s second victim.

Dhawan tried hard to keep his team in the game, but PBKS could not keep up with the asking rate and soon, the Punjab captain too succumbed to the pressure and Jitesh failed to tackle Mayank’s extra pace.

Earlier, De Kock got the LSG innings underway with a splendid drive through mid-off for a boundary.

Playing the game as ‘impact player’ having handed over the leadership responsibility to Nicholas Pooran, KL Rahul didn’t look convincing as he tried to flick Kagiso Rabada behind square on the leg-side.

Running in from a long way, a diving Harshal Patel made a valiant attempt to latch on to the ball but Rahul was lucky as the fielder could not pull off what would have been a blinder.

At the other end, De Kock was in his elements as he flayed Rabada over point for a four in the first delivery he faced from the South African speedster.

Next ball de Kock did one better, as he opened the face of the bat to whack Rabada over the backward point boundary for a six.

Rahul drove Arshdeep Singh down the ground for a maximum, and then, smashed another delivery in a similar fashion, but that fetched him a four.

Arshdeep, however, exacted his revenged when the left-arm seamer had the LSG batter caught by Jonny Bairstow at backward point for a nine-ball 15.

Devdutt Padikkal got himself two boundaries before being dismissed by Sam Curran (3/28).

Marcus Stoinis (19) hit two sixes before being bowled by Rahul Chahar as he looked to hoick the spinner on the on-side.

That brought Pooran into the middle and the West Indian quickly got into the groove, hitting Chahar for two sixes and a four for a 20-run over, which gave LSG’s run rate a much-needed impetus.

Meanwhile, De Kock brought up his half century in 34 balls but a strategic timeout broke LSG’s momentum as the left-handed South African batter top-edged a short Arshdeep delivery for wicketkeeper Jitesh Sharma to complete an easy catch.

Pooran kept the scoreboard moving at a good rate until he dragged a Rabada delivery onto the stumps, a big blow for LSG at a crucial juncture.

New man Krunal Pandya did not waste any time to settle down, brilliantly dispatching a short Rabada delivery over midwicket for a maximum. Curran bowled a tight 17th over to halt LSG’s charge, but Krunal got a flurry of boundaries to prop up LSG.

(With PTI inputs)

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