Marcus Stoinis and Kyle Mayers put on a power-hitting masterclass as Lucknow Super Giants slayed Punjab Kings by 56 runs in a high-scoring contest on Friday after amassing the second highest total in IPL history. A display of brutal hitting from Mayers (54 off 24) and Stoinis (72 off 40) fired Lucknow Super Giants to 257 for five against a profligate Punjab Kings. Needing almost 13 runs per over to pull off an improbable chase, Punjab stayed behind in the game despite scoring at a decent rate to end with 201 in 19.5 overs.
Atharava Taide batted well for 66 off 36 balls, his maiden fifty plus score in IPL, but the likes of Liam Livingstone (36 off 22) and Sikandar Raza (23 off 14) could not stay long enough to put pressure on the opposition. Skipper Shikhar Dhawan lasted only two balls on his return. Young pacer Yash Thakur was the most successful bowler with figures of 4/37 in 4 overs.
It was LSG’s fifth win in eight matches while Punjab Kings suffered their fourth loss in eight games. At 152 for four in 15 overs, Punjab were striking at more than 10 runs per over but task of getting another 106 runs from the last 30 balls was beyond the reach of even Livingstone and Sam Curran (21 off 11).
Besides being the second highest total in IPL history, it was also the highest of the season.
Mayers went on the rampage in the Powerplay before Stoinis 40) effortlessly collected boundaries at will to help his team set a massive target. The other important contributions came from Ayush Badoni (43 off 24) and Nicholas Pooran (45 off 19). Back to lead Punjab after three games, Dhawan opted to field but his bowlers were all over the place on a belter of a track.
Barring Rahul Chahar, all the other six bowlers leaked more than 10 runs per over. The usually frugal Arshdeep Singh leaked 54 runs in four overs and Kagiso Rabada gave away 52 runs in four overs although he had two wickets to show for his efforts.
The total was also the highest of the season and six runs shy of 263, the highest ever total in IPL history achieved by RCB back in 2013 when Chris Gayle played his epic 175-run knock.
LSG skipper KL Rahul (12 off 9) was the only batter, who could not make use of ideal batting conditions. He was dropped on the first ball of the match off debutant Gurnoor Brar but couldn’t make it count.
Mayers looked in menacing tough from the get go as he smashed Arshdeep for four boundaries in his opening over. He started with a gorgeous drive through point before using his long levers to target the long on and deep mid-wicket region, collecting seven fours and four sixes in total.
Such was his confidence and he took a couple of strides forward to dispatch Rabada just over his head.
After Mayers fell inside the Powerplay, Stoinis and Badoni shared an 89-run stand off only 47 balls to maintain the momentum created by Mayers.
Stoinis played some breathtaking strokes in his belligerent knock that included five sixes and half a dozen boundaries.
Stoinis could have been dismissed in the 13th over but Liam Livingstone touched the boundary while trying to take a regulation catch at long on.
Pooran began his innings with three back to back off drives off Livingstone. LSG hammered 73 runs off the last 30 balls.
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