The ultra-aggressive and big-hitting batting line-up of Punjab flattered to deceive yet again to slump to a 20-run defeat at the hands of Lucknow Super Giants at MCA Stadium here on Friday.
After Kagiso Rabada’s 4/38 restricted Lucknow to 153/8 on a sticky pitch, Punjab lost their way after captain Mayank Agarwal fell in power-play and Liam Livingstone was dismissed in the middle overs, eventually making 133/8 in their 20 overs.
Tall left-arm pacer Mohsin Khan took three wickets for 24 runs, keeping Punjab on the backfoot while Krunal Pandya was miserly in his spell of 2/11. Dushmantha Chameera (2/17) and Ravi Bishnoi (1/41) provided strong support for Lucknow to execute an excellent defence of 153.
After starting slow, Agarwal hit back with two sixes and two fours to score 25 off 18 balls. Both of his sixes came by backing away and creating room to carve the maximums over off-side. Agarwal attempted to do the same off Chameera but K.L Rahul at mid-off timed his jump well to take a brilliant catch in the fifth over.
Jonny Bairstow slammed two fours off Avesh Khan in the final over of power-play as Punjab signed off with 46/1. Post power-play, Lucknow Super Giants made a mini-comeback through Bishnoi and Pandya. While Shikhar Dhawan was castled by Bishnoi in an attempt to slog-sweep, Bhanuka Rajapaksa tried to play for the turn but got a leading edge to point running from left off Pandya.
Livingstone danced down the pitch twice to hit Bishnoi for successive sixes in an over which yielded 18 runs. Just as it felt like Punjab would run away with the match, Lucknow fought back as Livingstone shuffled across to scoop and could only glove behind to keeper off Mohsin. In the next over, Pandya trapped Jitesh Sharma lbw after Lucknow took the review.
Bairstow waged a lone battle with the bat, taking two fours off Bishnoi. But Chameera delivered the knockout blow, forcing Bairstow to play a full, wide delivery and edged to the third man. Mohsin came back in his final over to take out Kagiso Rabada and Rahul Chahar. Though Rishi Dhawan slammed boundaries off Avesh Khan in the final over, it wasn’t sufficient to deny Lucknow a well-deserved victory.
(Inputs from IANS)