Mumbai, April 16 (IANS) Lucknow Super Giants’ captain K.L Rahul marked his 100th IPL appearance with a swashbuckling century (103 not out) as Lucknow Super Giants posted 199/4 against Mumbai Indians at the Brabourne Stadium on Saturday.
On a hot Mumbai afternoon, Rahul put out a treat for fans with his free-flowing strokes as he carried his bat throughout the innings for registering his third IPL hundred, also his second ton in the mega event against Mumbai in 60 balls, laced with nine fours and five sixes.
For the Rohit Sharma-led side, it was another poor day with the ball as Jaydev Unadkat took two wickets while Murugan Ashwin and Fabian Allen had one scalp each apart from multiple misfields on the field.
Rahul was cautious at the start when Quinton de Kock went after Mumbai’s bowling in the power-play, smashing four boundaries off Unadkat and Ashwin in the first four overs. From nine runs off 12 balls, Rahul pounced on short and wide balls from Tymal Mills, sending them for a four and six over keeper and backward point respectively to get going.
The duo were involved in a 50-run opening stand- the third time for Lucknow in this season as Mumbai used six different bowlers for every over of power-play. The tactic finally got them a wicket as de Kock fell lbw to Fabian Allen’s left-arm spin in the sixth over.
But Rahul stepped up to attack by swatting a friendly full toss from Ashwin over deep mid-wicket and just after it, cleared his front leg to thump Unadkat over the same region. After reaching his fifty in 33 balls, Rahul and Manish Pandey hit two fours each in 13th over from Mills to take 18 runs off the over.
Though Ashwin gave Mumbai some respite by uprooting Pandey’s leg-stump, it was dashed by Marcus Stoinis smacking a 104-metre six over long-on on his first ball. Rahul piled further misery on Allen and Mumbai by cutting a four through backward point followed by pulling over mid-wicket and a lovely pick-up flick over fine leg for two sixes.
After Stoinis holed out to cover off Unadkat, Rahul and Deepak Hooda worsened Mills’ day by taking 22 runs off the over, including with the Lucknow skipper getting to his century. It took a brilliant final four-run over from Unadkat, including taking out Hooda, to keep Mumbai one run below 200.
Brief Scores: Lucknow Super Giants (K.L Rahul 103 not out, Manish Pandey 38; Jaydev Unadkat 2/32, Murugan Ashwin 1/33) against Mumbai Indians