Quinton de Kock showed imperious form in his 80 from 52 balls as the Lucknow Super Giants edged the Delhi Capitals by six wickets for their third straight win in their first IPL season here on Thursday. The Delhi Capitals lost their way after a sizzling shot from Prithvi Shaw (61 of 31) to finish at 149 for 3 after Lucknow predictably decided to play first. With the resources Lucknow possesses, 150 should have been a comfortable hunt and the team led by KL Rahul made sure that was the case, heading home with two balls to spare on a tricky surface.
De Kock was at his destructive best as he shared a 73-point position with opening partner Rahul (24 of 25).
The South African wicket-striker was particularly tough on compatriot Anrich Nortje who was playing his first game since November. The fit-again pacer, playing his first IPL match in India, was crushed for three fours and a six by de Kock in a 19-point run.
In what turned out to be a night to remember for Nortje, the South African pacesetter had to be taken out of the attack later on after throwing two unballed shots at waist height.
After Rahul fell, his team needed 76 from the last 10 overs. De Kock, who had nine fours and two sixes, put the team on a winning streak with his second over 50 of the tournament.
With the pitch not being the easiest to hit, Lucknow struggled to finish the match with even in-form Deepak Hooda and experienced Krunal Pandya not finding the big shots.
Lucknow finally got the job done with youngster Ayush Badoni hitting the deciding four and a six against Shardul Thakur in the final.
Earlier, Shaw’s shot was classy before Lucknow bounced back into the game with an impressive bowling performance. Young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi (2/22) was the best performer in the new IPL entrants.
David Warner (4 of 12), returning to the franchise where he made his IPL debut in 2009, struggled in his opening runs of the season.
Off-spinner K Gowtham (1/23) received the ball in the second inning and Shaw didn’t let it settle, sending a full ball through cover for his first four innings.
Jason Holder was on the receiving end in the suite when Shaw fired him for a six in the middle of the wicket. Then came pacemaker Avesh Khan who was hammered for three straight fours in the fourth.
It looked like Shaw was hitting on a different surface while the others struggled around him. He used his quick hands to cut the ball up and was equally quick to drive anything into cover.
It was a promising power play for the Capitals who went 52 unbeaten in six overs. However, Lucknow fought back after the power play with wickets from Shaw, Warner and Rovman Powell (3 of 10) into 18 ball space.
Shaw was caught by Gowtham after hitting him for a straight six. Warner fell on a bad shot from Bishnoi and Powell had his stumps disturbed as he tried to sweep a googly from the young leg-spinner, leaving the Capitals at 74 for three in the 11th over.
It fell to skipper Rishabh Pant (39 out of 36) to bring the team to a respectable total and he did so in the company of Sarfaraz Khan (36 out of 28) who was playing his first match for the franchise.
Pant mainly targeted the straight limits and Sarfaraz, without taking many risks, showed skills that won him a sack full of runs in domestic cricket.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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