The Lucknow Super Giants held their nerve in a tight contest to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 12 runs at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai.
After being put in to bat first, LSG struggled to get going initially. Skipper KL Rahul was in the middle but wickets at the other end saw them reach 68/3 after 10 overs.
It was a slow start and LSG badly needed someone to shake things up and that someone was Deepak Hooda. The lanky right-hander has already played some fine knocks this season and he once again proved his mettle with a 33-ball 51.
His innings provided some good momentum to the LSG innings and helped them crawl out of the hole that they had dug for themselves. After he was dismissed by Romario Shepherd, Rahul got into the act as well.
The skipper held the innings together well but he failed to truly step on the accelerator as we all know he can. He was eventually dismissed for 68 off 50 balls.
The two fifties helped LSG reach 169/7 in their 20 overs. It was a total that perhaps gave them a fighting chance.
On the bowling, Umran Malik was in fine rhythm and gave the speed gun a proper workout but he was also very expensive. T Natarajan found his yorkers and ended up with figures of 2/26. Washington Sundar, who started the innings off, also did well to finish with 2/28.
In reply, SRH didn’t have the best of starts either but Rahul Tripathi’s innings kept them in the mix. The right-hander scored 44 off 30 balls to keep the pressure on LSG.
But the fall of his wicket with the total on 95/4 put the pressure right back on SRH. They needed Nicolas Pooran to come good and the left-hander did his best to keep his side in the game.
But coming down to the last 4 overs, SRH needed 41 with Pooran (34 off 24) and Sundar in the middle. Difficult but not impossible.
It came down to 16 runs off the last over with Sundar and Romario Shepherd at the crease. But the over started well for LSG as Sundar fell off the very first ball of the over being bowled by Jason Holder.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar fell a couple of balls later and then Shepherd was dismissed off the last ball. The pressure was on Holder but he held his nerve, conceded just three runs and took three wickets to get LSG a fine win.
Avesh Khan put in a brilliant performance with the figures of 4/24, taking four wickets for the first time in an IPL match. Krunal Pandya and Holder were very good as well.