Marcus Stoinis brings the muscle in Lucknow’s thrilling victory

Marcus Stoinis brings the muscle in Lucknow’s thrilling victory

Lucknow Super Giants 177 for 3 (Stoinis 89*, Krunal 49*, Behrendorff 2-30) beat Mumbai Indians 172 for 5 (Kishan 59, Bishnoi 2-26) by 5 runs

Mohsin Khan missed the first half of IPL 2023 with a shoulder injury. In fact, Lucknow Super Giants’ head coach Andy Flower had “written him off” for the season. Still, LSG didn’t release him and bring in a replacement player.

On Tuesday night, Mohsin repaid that trust. Chasing 178 at the Ekana Cricket Stadium, Mumbai Indians needed 11 from the final over with Tim David and Cameron Green in the middle. Mohsin, though, denied Mumbai’s big-hitters. Bowling a mix of hard lengths and wide yorkers, he conceded only five to take LSG closer to the playoffs.

Earlier, Marcus Stoinis scored an unbeaten 89 off 47 balls – his highest IPL score – to lift LSG to a competitive total on what looked like a difficult pitch to bat on. After being sent in, they lost three early wickets, but Stoinis and Krunal Pandya revived the innings before Stoinis went berserk at the death. He smashed 44 off his last 12 deliveries.

Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma started the chase at a rapid pace, adding 90 in 9.4 overs, but Ravi Bishnoi dismissed both to give LSG an opening. With Suryakumar Yadav getting out cheaply – scooping one onto his stumps – and Nehal Wadhera struggling, the home team were suddenly favourites.

Mumbai needed 30 from the last two overs. David hit Naveen-ul-Haq for two sixes to reduce it to 11 from six balls, but Mohsin’s excellent over sealed a crucial win for LSG.

Behrendorff gives MI early wickets

With LSG bringing in Naveen for Kyle Mayers, it was Deepak Hooda who opened the innings with Quinton de Kock. But the move didn’t work. After being dropped off Chris Jordan in the second over of the innings, Hooda charged Jason Behrendorff in the next over. It turned out to be a slower one and Hooda mis-timed it to David at mid-on. Prerak Mankad then bagged a first-ball duck, edging Behrendorff to Kishan.

De Kock and Krunal took the side to 35 for 2 at the end of the powerplay, before Piyush Chawla had de Kock caught behind off a googly. It was the fourth time this IPL that Chawla had picked up a wicket with his first ball of the match.

Stoinis and Krunal revive LSG

Stoinis and Krunal then took control of the innings. The pair used the dimensions of the ground to their advantage: Stoinis targeted the short boundary, and Krunal placed the ball in long pockets to pick up ones and twos. The pair took the side to 100 in 14 overs. But by then, Krunal was feeling discomfort in his leg; he eventually retired hurt for 49 off 42 balls.

Stoinis in Hulk mode

Stoinis was on 45 off 35 balls at the end of the 17th over. After that, he went on a rampage. He hit Jordan for three fours and two sixes to take 24 runs off the 18th over. Behrendorff was next in the firing line. Stoinis hit back-to-back sixes off his slower balls before wrapping up the innings with yet another maximum, off Akash Madhwal.

Kishan, Rohit give Mumbai a great start

At halftime, Stoinis said the pitch was not easy to bat on, but if you gave yourself some time, it got much easier. Kishan didn’t need any sighters, though. He hit three fours and a six in his first 12 balls. Rohit faced just four balls in the first three overs. In the next three, he smashed three sixes to power Mumbai to 58 for no loss. It was the highest powerplay total of the season in Lucknow.

LSG fight back

It started with Bishnoi breaking the opening stand by dismissing Rohit, and then removing Kishan in his next over. Mumbai were still ahead in the game, but a couple of quiet overs pushed the required rate above ten.

With 63 needed from six overs, Suryakumar fell to Yash Thakur. Two overs later, Nehal Wadhera’s laboured innings – 16 off 20 balls – came to an end when he pulled Mohsin to deep-backward square leg. Vishnu Vinod didn’t last long either, leaving David and Green to get 33 from 14 balls. David put Mumbai ahead once again with a 19-run penultimate over, only to be denied by Mohsin in the end.

Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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