Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], May 21 (ANI): Lucknow Super Giants won the match against Kolkata Knight Riders by the narrowest of margins. LSG won the match against KKR by 1 run at the Eden Garden on Saturday.
KKR came close to taking the match in their favour, credit to Rinku Singh's brilliant knock. Following the win, the coach of LSG Andy Flower appreciated young talent Rinku Singh, he said he is a physically talented guy who is hungry for success but humble at the same time.
Rinku Singh played a vital inning of 67 runs off 33 balls while smashing six boundaries and four sixes. In fact, Rinku is the only batsman for KKR who has scored the most number of runs for them in this IPL season. In 14 innings Rinku has scored 474 runs with four half-centuries in this IPL season. He has smashed 31 boundaries and 29 maximums. His runs have come at an average of 59.25 and a strike rate of over 149.
In the post-match press conference, Lucknow Super Giants coach Andy Flower said, "He looks like a really physically talented guy. He also looks like he is really hungry for success and humble at the same time and confident of what can he do -- it is a really good package."Adding on he said, "There is so much batting talent in the country. He is showing that he can do it under pressure, that is a key aspect of playing international cricket. I think he has got a future," the 55-year-old added."Andy Flower further complemented Rinku by saying, "Rinku played out of his skin again to get them that close, did not he? We were really in a good situation, but if they had won it from there it would have been genuinely astounding."Andy Flower had few words for Nicholas Pooran as well, who eventually won the 'Man of the Match' against KKR for his brilliant knock of 58 off 30 balls.
Flower said, "He is still a young man developing his game. I am certain that he will do amazing things for West Indies cricket. He is a brilliant team member. I would imagine he would come again as a leader at some stage in future."He concluded by saying, "He is very physically talented, worked hard on bat swing, and does a lot of boundary-hitting practice. He has put in hard yards to get to where he is right now."Pooran had the best IPL season of his career this time. In 14 matches, he scored 358 runs at an average of 32.54 and a strike rate of 173.78. He scored two half-centuries, with the best score of 62. He finished as the third-highest run-scorer for LSG behind Kyle Mayers (361 runs in 12 innings at an average of 30.08 and four fifties) and Marcus Stoinis (368 runs in 14 matches at an average of 30.66 and three fifties).
Put to bat first by KKR, LSG posted a total of 176/8 in their 20 overs. LSG lost wickets at regular intervals and was 73/5 at one point. Quinton de Kock (28) and Prerak Mankad (26) contributed some useful knocks up the order.
A 74-run stand between Nicholas Pooran (58 in 30 balls, with four boundaries and five sixes) and Ayush Badoni (25 in 21 balls, two fours and a six) and a cameo from Krishnappa Gowtham (11) helped LSG reach a competitive total.
Sunil Narine (2/28) was the pick of the bowlers for KKR. Vaibhav Arora (2/30) and Shardul Thakur (2/27 in two overs) got a couple of scalps each as well. Harshit Rana and Varun Chakravarthy got a wicket each.
In the case of 177, KKR started off on a high note, accumulating 61 runs in 5.5 overs before Venkatesh Iyer (24) was dismissed. After the dismissal of Jason Roy (45 in 28 balls, with seven fours and a six), KKR was reduced to 82/3 in their 10 overs.
In the second half of the innings, KKR struggled to keep up with the required run rate. Despite Rinku Singh's valiant 67 in 33 balls, consisting of six fours and four sixes, KKR fell just one run short of a win. They finished at 175/7 in their 20 overs.
Ravi Bishnoi (2/23) and Yash Thakur (2/31 in three overs) were the pick of the bowlers for LSG. Skipper Krunal Pandya and Gowtham got a wicket each.
Pooran was given the 'Player of the Match' award for his match-winning knock.
With this victory, LSG qualifies for the playoffs. They end their campaign with eight wins, five losses and one no-result in 14 games. They have a total of 17 points and are in third position.
KKR finished their campaign in seventh position with six wins, eight losses and a total of 12 points. (ANI)