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Top Performer: Krunal Pandya's All-Round Masterclass

April 08, 2023 08:09 IST
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Krunal Pandya

IMAGE: Krunal Pandya scored 34 off 23 balls to help Lucknow Super Giants move to the top of the IPL points table. Photograph: BCCI

Lucknow Super Giants came up with an all-round masterclass on a slow pitch at the Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee stadium in Lucknow as they handed a 5-wicket thrashing to SunRisers Hyderabad on Friday, April 7, 2023.

Krunal Pandya made LSG fans happy with his all round performance, taking three wickets and scoring 34 (23b, 4x4, 1x6) to help LSG move to the top of the IPL points table with their second successive win at home.

LSG packed their bowling line-up with spinners and they bowled beautifully.

Krunal Pandya

IMAGE: Krunal celebrates Mayank Agarwal's wicket. Photograph: BCCI

Skipper K L Rahul used as many as seven bowlers while fielding first. LSG added 40-year-old Amit Mishra (2/23) to the mix, making it a three-man spin-bowling unit with Krunal (3/18) and Ravi Bishnoi (1/16).

The trio choked Sunrisers and never let them get away. They picked up six wickets between them, conceding just 57 runs in 12 overs on a sluggish pitch in Lucknow. SRH scored a paltry 121 to set up the game.

Krunal made full use of the slow and gripping surface, mixing the pace of his deliveries to take three wickets, including two wickets off consecutive deliveries in the eighth over to leave SRH struggling at 63/4 at the half-way mark.

Later, valuable contributions from Rahul (35) and Krunal (34) ensured that LSG sailed their way to the 122 run target in 16 overs.

Krunal doubled up with a robust batting performance at number four to ensure that Lucknow faced no hiccups in what appeared to be a slightly tricky chase at the offset.

He helped LSG to take their head-to-head record against SRH to 2-0 in as many as meetings. Along with Rahul, Krunal didn't let SRH bowlers dictate terms and put on a 55-run stand in just 38 balls for the third wicket.

Krunal was eventually caught by Anmolpreet Singh off Umran Malik in the 13th over, but by then LSG's score has reached 100.

Thereafter, Marcus Stoinis (10, 13b, 2x4) and Nicolas Pooran (11, 6b, 1x4, 1x6) took the hosts home.

LSG will be happy to bounce back to winning ways after a crushing defeat to the Chennai Super Kings on Monday whereas SRH have a lot of thinking to do after suffering their second consecutive loss this season.

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