MUMBAI: Quinton de Kock on Thursday blasted a whirlwind 80 off just 52 balls to drive Lucknow Super Giants to six-wicket ictory against Delhi Capitals.
After being asked to bat first, Delhi got off to a rollicking start as Prithvi Shaw went on the rampage. He pulled, cut and drove with supreme belligerence and cracked 61 runs in just 34 balls. His sprightly innings was punctuated by nine boundaries and two sixes. When he was dismissed, team’s score was 67 in 7.3 overs. Out of 67, 61 were scored by Shaw.
After Shaw was dismissed, legspinner Ravi Bishnoi nipped out David Warner and Rovman Powell in quick succession to reduce Delhi to 74-3. Delhi captain Rishabh Pant and Sarfaraz Khan added unbeaten 75 runs for the fourth wicket to take their team to 149-3 in 20 overs. The pitch was slightly tepid and wasn’t conducive for stroke-play. That hampered the scoring rate of both Pant and Khan. Bishnoi was the pick of the bowlers as he snapped up two wickets for just 22 runs in four overs.
Lucknow openers De Kock and KL Rahul batted with gusto and stitched up a 73-run partnership for the first wicket. Rahul was deliberately sedate as his partner De Kock went all guns blazing.
After Rahul was prised out for 24 by left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav, Lucknow kept losing wickets at regular intervals but never looked in any trouble. In the end, Krunal Pandya and young sensation Ayush Badoni held their nerves and took Lucknow to the victory in the 20th over. Badoni smote Shardul Thakur pver extra-cover to seal the third consecutive win for Lucknow in the tournament.
“It was a matter of just playing what’s in front of you, reacting to it. It was a chaseable score. You want a decent start in the powerplay and we didn’t want to get too ahead in the chase. It was important to keep wickets in hand,” said De Kock, who was adjudged Man of the Match.
Lucknow captain was jubilant at the win and heaped plaudit on Badoni. “He (Badoni) has held his nerve everytime he has gone into bat and he’s delivered for us under pressure. Great learning for him, important for him to keep working hard and stay humble.”
“When the dew is like that you can’t be complaining. As a batting unit we were 10-15 short, at the end Avesh and Holder pulled it back, so credit to them. We were talking about giving 100% till the last ball of the 40th over, no matter what happens,” said Pant, the captain of Delhi.
“The Powerplay was fine, we didn’t get any wicket Our spin attack did well in the middle overs but in the end we were 10-15 short,” he added.