Mumbai, April 24 (IANS) Skipper K.L Rahul led from the front, waging a lone battle for his second century of IPL 2022 as Lucknow Super Giants posted a below-par 168/6 against Mumbai Indians in Match 37 of IPL 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium here on Sunday.
Rahul scored an unbeaten 103, his second century of this edition of IPL after stroking to a century against Mumbai Indians a few days back. He joins Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan as the third Indian to score two centuries in the same IPL edition. Overall, has three hundred in IPL so far.
Rahul played a well-controlled innings on a sluggish track to finish with an unbeaten 103 off 62 deliveries. He reached the three-figure mark off 61 balls in the final over of the innings, hitting 12 fours and four sixes.
The 30-year-old from Karnataka waged a lone battle, struggling for help from the other end as the other batters came in and went out in a procession. Manish Pandey was the second-highest scorer with 22 runs for LSG.
Asked to bat first by Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma, Lucknow Super Giants could manage only 32/1 in the power-play as they got off to a slow start.
Quinton de Kock was the first to go, caught by skipper Rohit Sharma, driving at a low full toss and mistiming it. He had survived a chance on the previous delivery as Tilak Varma guided the ball over the rope while attempting a catch. That was the lone boundary for the South African opener as he departed for 10 with the score 27/1.
Rahul and Manish Pandey raised 58 runs for the second wicket, the only substantial partnership of the innings. Pandey, who lofted an overpitched delivery by Riley Meredith over long-on for his lone six, was caught by Meredith off Poland as he top-edged to short fine leg after a run-a-ball 22.
Rahul soldiered on from the other end. He started on a sedate note and struck his first boundary, hitting Hrithik Shokeen for a four down the ground. He hammered Daniel Sams for fours off successive deliveries in the third over — a scythe over the covers being the eye-catchy one, completing his half-century off 37 balls.
Rahul deposited a slower one from Jaydev Unadkat in leg-side stands, pulling the from outside off in the ninth over. In the next over, he blasted a short one from Meredith to the mid-wicket boundary for a four and followed it up by forcing it past the sweeper cover on the next delivery.
In the 18th over, Rahul hammered Undadkat for three successive fours — the one over the bowler’s head off an attempted yorker the standout shot of the three boundaries.
He reached his century with a six-over midwicket off Meredith and guided LSG to a defendable total. His only other notable partnership in this innings was of 46 runs for the sixth wicket with Ayush Badoni (14).
For Mumbai Indians, winless in seven matches so far in IPL 2022, Riley Meredith (2/40) and Kieron Pollard (2/8) were the most successful bowlers.
Brief scores: Lucknow Super Giants 168/6 in 20 overs (K.L Rahul 103 not out, Manish Pandey 22; Kieron Pollard 2/8, Riley Meredith 2/40) against Mumbai Indians.