A batting storm led by Kyle Mayers, a clinical bowling performance spearheaded by Mark Wood and crucial contributions from the likes of Nicholas Pooran, Avesh Khan and Ravi Bishnoi made it a memorable first match for Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) at the BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium on Saturday. 

Up against a robust Delhi Capitals side in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 opener, LSG posted a massive 193/6 in 20 overs on a pitch known to have good bounce and turn for bowlers.

DC, who decided to chase after winning the toss, did show some fight with their captain David Warner scoring a half-century in the second innings. LSG were too clinical on the night and halted DC’s run chase on 143/9 to win the match by 50 runs.

Kyle Mayers arrives at IPL

KL Rahul and Deepak Hooda struggled as LSG crawled to 30/1 at the end of the powerplay - their lowest in the IPL. But once Kyle Mayers got his eyes in, Lucknow were on their way to a Super Giant score!

The West Indian southpaw was slow to get off the blocks on what was a tricky surface. Mayers then lined up DC's spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel, who were otherwise effective on a spin-friendly wicket, to hit boundaries at will.

Mayers struck seven sixes and two fours in his innings. After starting with a run-a-ball 17, his latter phase of the innings yielded 56 runs off just 21 balls. Mayers finally fell to Axar Patel’s unplayable turn from the fifth stump which hit the top of off in the 12th over but not before striking 38-ball 73 - the fourth-highest score by a batter on IPL debut. 

Nicky P takes flight

Kyle Mayers wasn’t the only West Indian left-handed to shine on his first match for LSG. Our big buy Nicholas Pooran showed us why he was one of the most sought after players at the IPL auction for this year.

Marcus Stoinis’ dismissal to Khaleel Ahmed on the first ball of the 15th over left LSG on a delicate position of 117/4. But then, Nicholas Pooran arrived locked and loaded. He launched his innings with a one-bounce four over the deep backward square leg and hit Khaleel the over wide long-on to make his intentions clear.

His dismissal in the 19th over after 21-ball 36 must have calmed some nerves in the Delhi Capitals dugout but Ayush Badoni (18 off 7) and our Impact Player Krishnappa Gowtham (6 off 1) finished strongly to help LSG finish on 193/6 in 20 overs.

Wood leaves his ‘Mark’

It wasn’t just batting that clicked for LSG in front of an expectant crowd in The City of Nawaabs! 

If Kyle Mayers handed Delhi a drubbing with a bat, Mark Wood did exactly the same with the ball if not better. 

Mark Wood’s bowling figures read 2-0-3-3 at the halfway stage of his spell. Who needs bowling variations when you can deliver at around 150km pace consistently?

Wood cleaned up Prithvi Shaw on nine before sending Mitchell Marsh’s off stump on a cartwheel. He finished on 5/14 in his four overs after taking the wickets of in-form Sarfaraz Khan, Axar Patel and Chetan Sakariya.

Avesh Khan (2/29) and Ravi Bishnoi (2/31) chipped in with wickets at a crucial stage too and never let the DC batting get out of the shackles. 

What next now for KL Rahul’s men?

LSG will now travel to Chennai to take on MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Monday. LSG faced CSK once last season and chased down a target of 210 courtesy of a solid 99-run opening partnership from KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock. 

Brief scores: Lucknow Super Giants 193/6 (Kyle Mayers 73, Nicholas Pooran 36, Khaleel Ahmed 2/30) beat Delhi Capitals 143/9 (David Warner 56, Rilee Rossouw 30, Mark Wood 5/14) by 50 runs