Kolkata, May 21 (IANS): Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) held their nerves and survived a Rinku Singh scare to beat Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 1 run in an IPL 2023 at the Eden Gardens and skipper Krunal Pandya was satisfied more than anything as his side booked a spot in the playoffs, saying that they never gave up despite being put under pressure.
Lucknow started the game on Saturday evening on 15 points and needed a win to guarantee qualification, but things looked bleak at one point, both in the first innings with the bat and in the second innings with the ball.
Asked to bat first, LSG were reeling at 73/5 but were rescued by a stunning half-century from Nicholas Pooran which propelled the side to 176. And then, during the chase, they were under the pump having conceded 61 inside the powerplay. However, LSG fought hard and eventually emerged victorious in the thriller.
"First reaction is satisfaction. We never gave up, we were put under a lot of pressure but credit to the boys. At one stage, they were 61/1 but I've seen it before that at this level 2-3 tight overs and we're in the game. And there was some grip for the spinners as well," Krunal said at the post-match presentation.
The LSG skipper also lauded Rinku's innings (67 not out off 33) saying that the left-hander has been special this year.
"Rinku has been special this year, every game when he's there you can't take it easy. Today he showed it again, but it is a high pressure situation while bowling death overs to execute our plans. I was talking to my bowlers after each ball, I asked them to execute their plans, if after that the batter plays a good shot there's nothing we can do," he said.
Young Yash Thakur conceded 19 runs to Rinku while defending 21 off the final over as LSG won by just 1 run. However, it was an interesting decision to give Thakur the final over, considering Mohsin Khan, in the previous game, had bowled LSG to victory in the final over against MI, conceding just 5 runs bowling to Tim David and Cameron Green.
Krunal said that he went with his gut feel.
"I go with my gut, last game there was some reverse swing so I went with Mohsin. Today, I went with Yash because the pitch was slow and he was confident after a couple of good overs," he said.
Lucknow will play the Eliminator on Wednesday (May 24) in Chennai, where they'll take on the fourth placed team.