Half-centuries from KL Rahul and Deepak Hooda powered Lucknow Super Giants to a strong total of 195/3 against Delhi Capitals here at Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.
It was not a great day at the office for DC bowlers as LSG batters smashed them all over the park. A 95-run stand between Rahul and Hooda troubled the opposition. Shardul Thakur was the only one who could offer some resistance against LSG, picking up all three wickets for DC.
Batting first, Lucknow Super Giants got off a blazing start, with openers KL Rahul and Quinton De Kock dealing in boundaries. LSG raced to 41 at the end of four overs, with KL being dropped by Sakariya in the 4th over. Finally, De Kock was dismissed by Shardul Thakur in the fifth over, after he was caught by Lalit Yadav for a quick 13-ball 26 when the team's score was 42.
This brought Deepak Hooda to the crease. At the end of the powerplay, LSG stood at 57 at the loss of one wicket, with KL Rahul (18*) and Deepak Hooda (12*) standing.
Rahul and Hooda dominated the spinners Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav with consistent strike rotation and some fours and sixes. Rahul brought the 50-run partnership between the duo with a six off Kuldeep's over, the tenth of the game.
At the end of 10 overs, LSG stood at a commanding 94 at the loss of one wicket, with KL (35*) and Hooda (32*) looking good and trying to match each other in their aggression.
Pace was brought back into the attack with Sakariya in the 12th over, and he was welcomed back with another expensive over thanks to more attractive strokes from Rahul-Hooda. The duo kept going and Rahul brought his half-century in the 13th over of the game, his second in the ongoing season.
The duo upped their run-scoring against pacers. Deepak Hooda also brought his season's third half-century in the 14th over, before being caught and bowled by Shardul Thakur for 52 off 34 in the 15th over of the game. This also brought to an end an attacking 95-run partnership between Hooda and Rahul, which came in just 61 deliveries. At the time of this fall of wicket, the team's score was 137 in 14.3 overs.
Marcus Stoinis announced his arrival into the game with a four off Thakur's delivery. At the end of 15 overs, LSG stood at 145 at a loss of two wickets, with KL (54*), Stoinis (4*).
Spinner Kuldeep Yadav was brought back to the attack in the 16th over and he produced his most economic over of the match, giving only three runs. The 17th over by Sakariya produced a huge six by KL Rahul and gave away eleven runs in total.
Stoinis survived a catch attempt in the first ball of the 18th over as he was dropped by Lalit Yadav. But there was no stopping Rahul from scoring off Mustafizur, who was hit for a reverse scoop by the batter. The batter also hit Thakur for a six in the 19th over of the game. But Thakur had the last laugh as he dismissed Rahul on the very next delivery with assistance from Yadav's hands. Rahul walked back to the pavilion after a well-made 77 off 51 with four boundaries and five sixes. Thakur also got his third wicket of the game, emerging as the one-man-army for the Capitals bowling line-up.
This brought Krunal Pandya to the crease. Mustafizur came to deliver the last over for the Capitals. The final over, due to some extras and a six from Stoinis proved to be an expensive one. 15 runs came off the final over, with LSG finishing off at 195 at the loss of three wickets with Stoinis (17*) and Pandya (9*).
Shardul Thakur emerged as the pick of the bowlers for DC, picking up all three wickets for 40 runs in his four overs.
Brief Scores: Lucknow Super Giants 195/3 (KL Rahul 77, Deepak Hooda 52; Shardul Thakur 3/40) vs Delhi Capitals.