An all-round bowling performance, led by Yash Thakur’s brilliant fifer, helped us pick up a 33-run victory over Gujarat Titans at the BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium on Sunday. It was our third straight victory of the season and takes us to the third position in the IPL 2024 points table with six points from four matches.

The win also helped us register our first victory over the Titans in the IPL and there was no better way to get the monkey off our backs than in front of the home fans in Lucknow.

After KL Rahul won the toss and elected to bat first, we rode on Marcus Stoinis’ crucial 58 to post a fighting total of 163/5 in 20 overs. We then bowled out the Titans for 130 courtesy some brilliant bowling.

Stoinis-KL shine after slow start

KL Rahul and Marcus Stoinis held the fort after we lost Quinton de Kock and Devdutt Padikkal inside the first three overs. The 73-run partnership helped us reach 88/2 in 12 overs but KL, trying to up the ante, was dismissed in the 13th over after scoring 33 off 31. 

Stoinis, with steely resolve, stepped on the paddle in the 15th over by hitting two massive sixes on the bowling of Darshan Nalkande. And by doing so, reached his first fifty of the season. However, Stoinis perished on 58 off 43 while going for his third maximum and our scores read 114/4 with five overs to go. 

Nicholas Pooran, with a six, and Ayush Badoni, with back-to-back boundaries, combined to produce 17 runs - our biggest of the innings - in the 18th over bowled by Mohit Sharma. Despite GT managing to bowl some tight overs at the death, Pooran’s counter-attacking 32 off 22 and Ayush Badoni’s 11-ball 20 helped us reach a fighting total of 163/5 at the end.

Yash, Krunal and Ravi wreck the Titans

With Shubman Gill and Sai Sudharsan scoring runs freely in the powerplay, we desperately needed a breakthrough from our bowlers and it was Yash Thakur who came up with the goods, rattling the GT captain’s stumps the sixth over with a searing yorker.

Krunal Pandya tightened the screws from the other end before Ravi Bishnoi flew to pull off a stunning catch off his own bowling to dismiss the dangerous Kane Williamson!

Pandya, our most economical bowler this season, handed GT a double blow in the ninth over with the wickets of Sudharsan and debutant BR Sharath.

From 54/0 in 5.3 overs, GT were reduced to 61/4 in 9 overs - how was that for some Lucknow style mehmaan nawaazi?

Bishnoi and Krunal, bowling in tandem, ensured GT’s required rate kept rising. Unfortunately, Mayank Yadav could bowl only one over in the match due to a side strain.

Krunal picked up the wicket of Darshan Nalkande on the first ball of the 13th over and eventually bowled out his four with incredible figures of 3/11.

GT needed 72 off 36 and with the experienced pair of Rahul Tewatia and Vijay Shankar still at the crease and Rashid Khan still to come, a lot of work still needed to be done. That’s when Yash Thakur rose to the challenge once again and removed Shankar and Rashid from the equation.

The visitors put up a late resistance on the back of Tewatia’s fighting 30 off 25 balls. But Yash Thakur wrapped up the affair with two wickets in the 19th over to finish with incredible figures of 5/30.

It was the second-ever fifer from one of our bowlers after Mark Wood’s 5/14 against Delhi Capitals last season.

What next for the Super Giants?

Speaking of Delhi, we will be hosting Rishabh Pant’s charges in our next game on Friday.

Brief Scores: Lucknow Super Giants 163/5 in 20 overs (Marcus Stoinis 58; Darshan Nalkande 2/21) beat Gujarat Titans 130/10 in 18.5 overs (Sai Sudharsan 31, Yash Thakur 5/30) by 33 runs.