Not the way we wanted our final home game of IPL 2024 to play out but props to Kolkata Knight Riders for putting up a brilliant all-round display to beat us at the Ekana Stadium on Sunday.

Naveen ul-Haq spearheaded our bowling attack with three wickets but KKR rode a Sunil Narine blitzkrieg to post 235/6 in their 20 overs - the highest IPL score posted at the Ekana. Our chase, unfortunately, fell 98 runs short.

The loss drops us down to the fifth spot in the IPL 2024 points table with 12 points from 11 games. However, with third-placed CSK and fourth-placed SRH also on the same number of points as us, we are still very much in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Bowlers mount comeback after early KKR flurry

We elected to bowl first but an early onslaught by KKR openers Sunil Narine and Phil Salt saw them race past 50 in the first four overs.

However, we got our much-needed breakthrough in the second ball of the fifth over as a cheeky slower ball from Naveen ul-Haq forced an edge off the in-form Salt and our kaptaan made sure he was off to the dugout with a stunning diving catch behind the wicket.

Narine (81 off 39), however, continued to play his shots as KKR crossed the 100-run mark in the eighth over. The KKR opener’s stay at the crease was finally ended by Ravi Bishnoi in the 12th over with Devdutt Padikkal taking the catch at the deep.

The wicket ignited a fightback from our bowlers as Naveen dismissed the dangerous Andre Russell cheaply. Credit to Krishnappa Gowtham for pulling off a brilliant catch after covering a lot of ground.

Mohsin Khan having to leave the pitch was a big blow for us but concussion sub Yudhvir Singh struck right away, sending the set Angkrish Raghuvanshi (32 off 26) back to the pavilion. From 140/2 at the end of the 12th over, we had KKR at 178/4 after completion of the 16th.

Shreyas Iyer and Rinku Singh took the KKR total to 200 but Naveen struck again to remove the latter from the equation and finished with figures of 3/49.

A late cameo from Ramandeep Singh (25 off 6) saw KKR post a total of 235/6 in 20 overs.

Our chase falls short

Chasing a record score, we had to go all out. Arshin Kulkarni, on as the impact sub for Yash Thakur, opened the batting with KL.

The duo put up a 20-run stand in quick time but Kulkarni departed in the second over after trying to go after Mitchell Starc.

It seemed like we had lost Rahul in the very next delivery after he was caught behind off Vaibhav Arora but Ekana breathed a sigh of relief after a review showed that there was no bat involved.

Marcus Stoinis, meanwhile, announced his arrival to the crease, hitting Starc for three boundaries in the fourth over. Both Stoinis and Rahul batted sensibly to help us put up 55/1 on the board in the powerplay.

At 70/1 and KL and Stoinis striking the ball cleanly, we seemed poised to challenge KKR’s score but at that crucial juncture, we lost our skipper, who was holed out at the deep while trying to hit Harshit Rana for a six over deep point.

The wicket proved detrimental to our chase as we kept losing wickets at regular intervals from there on out. Varun Chakravarthy trapped Deepak Hooda (5 off 3) LBW before Russell dealt us a double blow, removing Stoinis (36 off 21) and Nicholas Pooran (10 off 8) in successive overs.

Ayush Badoni, too, departed for 15 while trying to go after Narine as we found ourselves reeling at 109/6.

Ashton Turner (16 off 9) provided some fireworks towards the end with some big hits but our innings eventually wrapped up for 137, subjecting us to a 98-run loss.

What next for the Super Giants?

We will be on the road for a crucial away game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday.

Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 235/6 in 20 overs (Sunil Narine 81, Naveen ul-Haq 3/49) beat Lucknow Super Giants 137/10 in 16.1 overs (Marcus Stoinis 36; Harshit Rana 3/24) by 98 runs.