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Monday, May 27, 2024

Rajasthan Royals takes royal stride towards play-off beat Lucknow Super Giants by 7 wickets

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Lucknow, Apr 27 (PTI) Sanju Samson scored five runs less than his opposite number KL Rahul but his unbeaten 71 off 33 balls had five times more impact compared to Rahul’s relatively sedate 48-ball-76 as Rajasthan Royals took a giant leap towards IPL play-offs by comfortably beating Lucknow Super Giants by seven wickets here on Saturday.

While Rahul still is favourite to become Rishabh Pant’s understudy as the second glovesman at the T20 World Cup, Samson did hit four classy sixes, including the winning one in a chase of 197, to keep himself in the discussion for that US bound flight.

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Samson and Jurel came together after the Royals had stumbled from a brisk start to hand the advantage to the home side, putting on a robust stand of 121 runs in just 62 balls stand for the unconquered fourth wicket to take their side over the line.

Chasing a tricky 197 with LSG deploying seven bowlers including two leg-spinners, Rajasthan finished at 199 for three to win with an over to spare.
On his part, the young Jurel finally discovered his mojo to put behind a barren run, smacking five fours and two sixes to make a sturdy 52 not out off 34 balls.

The win took top-placed Rajasthan to 16 points — six clear from the second-best Kolkata Knight Riders — and a step closer to become the first team to reach the playoffs in the 17th edition. The play-offs cut-off this year is likely to be 18 points if one goes by the current mid-table muddle.
LSG remained on fourth spot with 10 points in bag.

Rajasthan openers Yashasvi Jaiswal (24) and Jos Buttler (34) knocked off 60 runs from the target unscathed, but their side went through a slump in the following overs while also losing three wickets in quick succession.
It began with Buttler walking across his stumps to miss an angled full toss from Thakur, who knocked down the leg-stump for the first breakthrough.

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Marcus Stoinis bowled an innocuous delivery outside off to invite a free-flowing Jaiswal to go for it. The left-hander obliged but did not connect well, finding Bishnoi at deep point.
LSG’s plans to tie the Royals down with leg-spin became evident when the 41-year-old Amit Mishra came on as impact substitute and got the priced scalp of Riyan Parag (11) in his first over.
Rajasthan slipped from 60 for no loss to 78/3 after nine, and this was when Jurel and Samson began their recovery work to put Rajasthan back on track again.
Jurel and Samson began with a six and a four respectively off Mishra to push the leg-spinner on the backfoot and took 17 runs off Thakur’s second over.

Krunal Pandya (0/24) did well on his part to send down a few measly overs in between but RR were back on charge again when Mohsin Khan came on in the 14th over.

Jurel hit the left-armer for 20 runs including three fours and a six in Mohsin’s third of the game and also enjoyed a reprieve when Thakur, placed at short third man, dropped a crucial catch when the RR batter was on 32.
Bishnoi’s introduction as late as in the 16th over had no impact whatsoever, with RR having grasped full control of the proceedings. The leg-spinner leaked another 16 runs as RR inched closer to the finish line.

Earlier in the first half, Rahul (76 off 48 balls) dug deep with Deepak Hooda (50 off 31 balls) as Lucknow Super Giants managed a competitive 196/5 against Rajasthan Royals.
Rahul and Hooda gave LSG a solid footing with a 62-ball 115-run stand for the third wicket after early blows, but the failure of others meant the hosts could not capitalise on the hard work by the two.

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Rahul’s 48-ball 76 with eight fours and two sixes was his fourth fifty of the season while Hooda banished his poor string of scores to make his first big score this IPL.

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