K. L. Rahul
K. L. RahulIANS

IPL 2022: Rahul's century in 100th IPL match leads Lucknow's 18-run win over Mumbai

Mumbai, April 16, 2022

Lucknow Super Giants captain K. L. Rahul marked his 100th IPL appearance with a swashbuckling century which set up their convincing 18-run win over Mumbai Indians at the Brabourne Stadium here on Saturday.

After Rahul's unbeaten 103 off 60 balls laced with nine fours and five sixes enthralled fans on a sunny afternoon and powered Lucknow to 199/4, Mumbai didn't get any substantial score which they needed from their batters and could only get 181/9 in their 20 overs, slumping to their sixth consecutive loss of the ongoing tournament.

Avesh Khan was the pick of the bowlers for Lucknow, taking three wickets while others, barring Krunal Pandya, chipped in with a wicket each.

Rohit Sharma's indifferent run continued as he nicked the ball behind off Khan. Young Dewald Brevis continued from where he left off in his 49-blitz against Punjab Kings, crunching Khan through point for four on his very first ball. He got another four through an outer edge off Ravi Bishnoi and clubbed Dushmantha Chameera with a straight bat for a six over long-on.

Brevis followed it up by hitting Chameera for fours through cover point and over mid-off. He slapped Khan for back-to-back fours through mid-wicket and down the ground before the pacer took out the right-hander with a full toss hit straight to extra cover to fall for a 13-ball 31. Just three balls after Brevis fell, Ishan Kishan chopped on to his stumps off Marcus Stoinis.

Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Varma rotated strike well with the senior batter hitting a few fours with his powerful whip through mid-wicket. With the asking rate creeping to 12, Yadav and Varma hit a four each off Pandya followed by doing the same against Bishnoi.

The 64-run stand off 48 balls for the fourth wicket ended as Jason Holder's yorker rattled Varma's off-stump. In the next over, Yadav tried to pull a short ball from Bishnoi but mistimed it to deep square leg. Kieron Pollard kept Mumbai in the game by smacking sixes off Chameera over wide long-on and deep mid-wicket before crunching a four through wide long-on off Khan.

Though Fabian Allen fell, Jaydev Unadkat's cameo of 14 gave some hope to Mumbai. He began by picking a four through cover drive on his first ball off Khan. He followed it up by smacking Holder over long-on for a six followed by a four in the gap between long-on and long-off fielders.

With 26 needed off the final over, a massive mix-up saw Unadkat run-out while trying to go for a second run. Murugan Ashwin tonked a six over long-on but was immediately run out on the non-striker's end while going for a run. Pollard's flick off went straight to long-on off Chameera, making it a case of so close yet so far again for Mumbai.

Earlier, Rahul put out a treat for fans with his free-flowing strokes as he carried his bat throughout the innings for registering his third IPL hundred, also his second ton in the mega event against Mumbai. Mumbai had another off-day with the ball and had multiple misfields on the field. Unadkat took two wickets while Ashwin and Allen had one scalp each.

Rahul was cautious at the start when Quinton de Kock went after Mumbai's bowling in the power-play, smashing four boundaries off Unadkat and Ashwin in the first four overs. From nine runs off 12 balls, Rahul pounced on short and wide balls from Tymal Mills, sending them for a four and six over keeper and backward point, respectively, to get going.

The duo were involved in a 50-run opening stand -- the third time for Lucknow in this season as Mumbai used six bowlers in power-play. The tactic finally got them a wicket as de Kock fell lbw to Allen's left-arm spin in the sixth over.

But Rahul stepped up to attack by swatting a friendly full toss from Ashwin over deep mid-wicket and just after it, cleared his front leg to thump Unadkat over the same region. After reaching his fifty in 33 balls, Rahul and Manish Pandey hit two fours each in 13th over from Mills to take 18 runs off the over.

Though Ashwin gave Mumbai some respite by uprooting Pandey's leg-stump, it was dashed by Stoinis smacking a 104-metre six over long-on on his first ball. Rahul piled further misery on Allen and Mumbai by cutting a four through backward point followed by pulling over midwicket and a lovely pick-up flick over fine leg for two sixes.

After Stoinis holed out to cover off Unadkat, Rahul and Deepak Hooda worsened Mills' day by taking 22 runs off the over, including with the Lucknow skipper getting to his century. It took a brilliant final four-run over from Unadkat, including taking out Hooda, to keep Mumbai one run below 200, not enough to save Mumbai from facing defeat.

Brief Scores: Lucknow Super Giants (K. L. Rahul 103 not out, Manish Pandey 38; Jaydev Unadkat 2/32, Murugan Ashwin 1/33) beat Mumbai Indians (Suryakumar Yadav 37, Dewald Brevis 31; Avesh Khan 3/30, Marcus Stoinis 1/13) by 18 runs


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