Chasing Royal Challengers Bangalore's 212, the odds were against the Lucknow Super Giants after they were reduced to 23/3 in four overs. However, big boys Nicholas Pooran (62 off 19) and Marcus Stoinis (65 off 30) came to the party, helping LSG pull off the most dramatic run chase at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday.

The win was not only LSG’s highest-ever run chase in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but also the highest at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in the 16 years of IPL! A super gigantic effort indeed by the Boys in Blue!

The win took LSG to the top of the IPL 2023 points table once more. The Super Giants have six points from four matches and a net run rate of +1.048.

Stoinis’ stoic response

Things were going south for LSG with Kyle Mayers, Deepak Hooda and Krunal Pandya all back in the dugout inside four overs. Marcus Stoinis arrived on the scene with LSG needing 190 runs from 96 balls. 

Needing to consolidate first, Stoinis played out a few dot balls but then what followed was complete carnage. From 43/3 in seven overs, the powerful Australian took LSG to 91/3 in 10 overs. He picked out Harshal Patel’s variations like cherries and slammed them for 6,4,4 in the first three balls of the eighth over.

RCB introduced spin in the very next over to counter Stoinis but Karn Sharma was whacked for 16 followed by Shahbaz Ahmed’s 15-run over. Stoinis hit five sixes and six fours during his stay on the pitch. He walked back in the 11th over but not before setting up the launchpad for Nicholas Pooran to follow. 

Pooran hits fastest 50 of IPL 2023

If what Stoinis did was carnage, Pooran’s inning was from another planet. The West Indian did not let the Stoinis wicket affect the run chase and hit the top gear from the start with a second-ball six. 

He extracted 20 runs from the 13th over bowled by Karn Sharma and completed his 1000 runs in the IPL with a sweet slog sweep six behind square leg.

The next three overs bowled by Harshal Patel, Wayne Parnell and David Willey in respective order yielded 18, 17 and 14 as Nicholas Pooran raced to the joint second-fastest IPL fifty in 15 balls. 

Pooran’s innings ended on the last ball of the 17th over when he was caught at backward square off the bowling of Mohammed Siraj. While the damage was done by Pooran, Ayush Badoni’s 30 off 24 made sure that LSG did not lose control at the fag end. He almost finished off the match in the penultimate over with a scoop shot that traveled for six but the toe-end of his bat hit the stumps and he was out hit-wicket.

Harshal Patel bowled the final over of the innings with LSG needing just five to win and four to tie but with only three wickets in hand. 

Jaydev Unadkat managed to get the bat on the yorker at the very first ball to scrape a single and rotate the strike to Mark Wood, who then was bowled on the next ball to make it four required off four balls for LSG. 

Ravi Bishnoi was the new man in. He tapped the ball through point and ran a crucial two. A single off the next ball put Unadkat back on strike. Unadkat, however, played it in the air to Faf du Plessis to make it one required off the last ball with one wicket in hand. 

Harshal Patel’s failed run out attempt at the non-striker end was followed by another brilliant yorker but RCB keeper Dinesh Karthik fumbled the ball and Avesh Khan and Ravi Bishnoi ran for their lives as LSG completed one of the biggest run chases in the IPL. 

Wood’s purple patch

RCB’s top three - Virat Kohli (61 off 44), Faf du Plessis (79 off 46) and Glenn Maxwell (59 off 29) - came out all guns blazing but LSG’s pace bowling machine Mark Wood was in no mood to be intimidated.

Despite RCB’s best efforts to target the speedster, Mark Wood returned with the figures of 1/32 in four overs, which included the wicket of an on-song Glenn Maxwell. He clocked over 150 kmph consistently and went for eight an over while others struggled to put a leash on the run rate. The last over of the innings bowled by Wood also went for just nine runs. 

What next for the Super Giants?

LSG will be up against Shikhar Dhawan’s Punjab Kings at BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Saturday. The Super Giants are still unbeaten at home and will have their tails up against the Punjab Kings side who were thumped by Sunrisers Hyderabad in their previous match. 

The two teams faced each other once last season with LSG emerging on top by 20 runs after putting up 153/8 on board. Krunal Pandya, with figures of 2/11 in four overs, choked the Kings and was adjudged the player of the match that evening.

Brief Scores: Lucknow Super Giants 213/9 (Marcus Stoinis 65, Nicholas Pooran 62, Mohammed Siraj 3/22) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 212/2 (Faf du Plessis 79*, Virat Kohli 61, Mark Wood 1/32) by one wicket.