De Kock stars as LSG secure passage to playoffs

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The Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) secured their spot for the playoffs in the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 after beating Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 2 runs on Wednesday at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.  

Quinton de Kock’s monumental knock of 140* and his record unbeaten opening-stand of 210 with skipper KL Rahul helped LSG secure a 2-run victory in a high-scoring thriller. 

Chasing a mammoth target of 211, KKR lost Venkatesh Iyer’s wicket in the first over when Quinton de Kock took a fine diving catch behind the stumps. KKR then lost debutant Abhijeet Tomar’s wicket. Nitish Rana and Shreyas Iyer led KKR’s recovery with an excellent counter-attacking fifty partnership. KKR were 60/2 at the end of 6 overs. K. Gowtham put an end to the dangerous partnership. Sam Billings joined skipper Shreyas Iyer and was immediately on the move. KKR were 99/3 at the halfway stage. 

The 50 partnership was up for the duo and KKR looked in control of the chase. Mohsin Khan conceded only 2 runs in the 13th over. Iyer was caught in the outfield off Marcus Stoinis after scoring a quick-fire fifty. Avesh Khan bowled a brilliant over to concede only 2 runs. Ravi Bishnoi and Mohsin Khan increased LSG’s chances of victory after dismissing explosive batters Billings and Russell respectively. 

34 Runs were conceded off the next two overs after Rinku Singh and Sunil Narine added two fours and two sixes each and KKR required 21 off the final over. Rinku Singh smacked two sixes and a four but was out for 40 courtesy of Evin Lewis’ spectacular catch. Marcus Stoinis castled Umesh Yadav with KKR requiring 3 run off the final delivery and LSG successfully defended the target. Earlier, LSG were off to a steady start after Quinton de Kock got a reprieve. LSG were 44/0 at the end of the powerplay. The openers switched gears after Rahul punched consecutive sixes against Tim Southee and LSG were 83/0 at the halfway mark. 

Both openers reached their respective half-centuries and the runs kept flowing as the openers were dealing in boundaries. 18 came off the 16th after de Kock clobbered two sixes and a four off Varun Chakaravarthy’s bowling and the 150 partnership was up. 

De Kock reached his second IPL century with a four before the left-handed batter dispatched four clean strikes for six against Southee in the penultimate over. 

LSG reached 210 for no wicket after de Kock creamed four fours in a row in the final over and stitched the highest-ever opening partnership in the history of the season. 

Brief Scores: 

LSG: 210/0 (Quinton de Kock 140*, KL Rahul 68*) 

KKR: 208/8 (Shreyas Iyer 50, Rinku Singh 40; Mohsin Khan 3-20)

(Agencies)