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IPL 2024: Superb shows by McGurk, Kuldeep help Delhi beat Lucknow by six wickets

Lucknow, April 13 2024-

Riding on debutant Jake Fraser-McGurk’s stunning 55 after Kuldeep Yadav’s three-for, Delhi Capitals defeated Lucknow Super Giants by six wickets in Match 26 of the Indian Premier League and Ekana Cricket Stadium here on Friday.

Batting first on the central spongy pitch hosts Lucknow Super Giants set Delhi Capitals a target of 168 after Ayush Badoni smashed a fine half-century. Kuldeep Yadav bowled brilliantly to end with figures of 3-20 in four overs, claiming the big wickets of K.L. Rahul and Nicholas Pooran.

Chasing the target, McGurk slammed a 35-ball 55, studded with two boundaries and five maximums as he shared a 77-run partnership with skipper Rishabh Pant to help Delhi Capitals reach 170/4 in 18.1 overs.

With back-to-back boundaries in the second over bowled by Naveen-ul-Haq, the Capitals openers kicked off their chase of 168 runs. Prithvi Shaw needed some treatment in the first over after taking a blow on the hand but seemed to have shaken that off. Given width to cut, he sent his fourth ball to the fence and then crunched the next – one that was much tighter to the stumps – through extra cover.

Warner also found the boundary in the opening over bowled by Arshad Khan. Yash Thakur, who claimed a maiden five-for in his last outing against Gujarat Titans, yet again provided the first breakthrough for LSG. Warner needed help from the physio before the start of the over, having taken a blow on the hand when trying to scoop Naveen, and the same shot sent him back to the pavilion against Yash’s medium pace.

The ball skidded into his body, swung back sharply, and broke the bails before Warner could flick it away. Warner departed after scoring eight runs off nine deliveries.

In came Jake Fraser-McGurk at number three and straightaway sent the second ball of his debut for a six over deep mid-wicket off Yash’s delivery. The second last over of the Power-play bowled by Arshad Khan saw 15 runs courtesy of a boundary by Prithvi Shaw and a maximum and a boundary by McGurk.

Shaw was looking dangerous with his sweep shots against spinners before getting out in Ravi Bishnoi’s first over. The specialist googly bowler unleashed one of his rare leg-breaks and that does for Shaw, who walked back to the dressing room after scoring 32 off 22 deliveries. After the end of seven overs, the Capitals needed 105 from 78 balls with eight wickets in hand.

A sliced drive at Naveen ended up in the hands of a deep third, and Fraser-McGurk walked off with 55 from 35 from his debut IPL innings. He became the third youngest overseas batter to score a half-century in the IPL, and it made the chase pretty comfortable for DC. The Super Giants adapted quickly to what their strength has been in this season and offered a new challenge for Capitals batters- Bishnoi with his wrist spin which can be hard to pick out of the hand and Naveen ul Haq with his slower balls.

McGurk who scored 16 off just eight deliveries scored just three in the next five deliveries. Rishabh Pant completed his 3000 IPL runs after breaking a boundary drought of 29 balls in the 11th over of Bishnoi. In the very next over of Marcus Stoinis, Bishnoi, guarding the cover, dropped a sitter off McGurk, who went on to smash his maiden IPL half-century in 31 deliveries. Krunal Pandya bowling the 13th over of the innings was taken apart by McGurk, who smashed a hat-trick of sixes to reach fifty.

McGurk became the third-youngster overseas batter after Sam Curran and Rahmanullah Gurbaz to smash a half-century in the IPL. It was the most expensive over of the inning by Pandya as both the batters raised the half-century of their stand in just 32 deliveries to take the visitors closer to victory.

A sliced drive off Naveen-ul-Haq ended up in the hands of a deep third, and Fraser-McGurk walked off with 55 from 35 from his debut IPL innings but the knock made the chase pretty comfortable for DC. Both the batters added 77 runs off 46 deliveries for the third wicket. Ravi Bishnoi in his last over of the spell cleaned up Pant of a googly, who scored 41 off 24 deliveries.

With the last four overs left in the match, Delhi needed 18 runs for the victory and Tristan Stubbs, with a maximum over deep midwicket of Arshad Khan, claimed victory for Delhi Capitals by six wickets with eleven balls remaining. For host Lucknow, Ravi Bishnoi claimed 2 for 25 and Naveen-ul-Haq claimed a wicket giving away 24 runs.

Earlier, batting first on the central spongy pitch, Lucknow Super Giants opener Quinton de Kock started and finished the first over from Khaleel Ahmed with a boundary. Khaleel has been Capitals’ best bowler so far this season but his first ball was short and wide, to be carved away over the leaping gully fielder. Though the bowler straightened up his line in response to the boundary, de Kock managed to find a thick inside edge for four more.

De Kock missed a big swing across the line of Khaleel’s second over and the finger went up. The ball was heading toward the leg and de Kock went for the DRS – but ball-tracking had it shaving the leg stump. The DRS result came in for the umpire’s call, and de Kock departed after scoring 19 off 13 deliveries.

Delhi Capitals needed that breakthrough after a fast start by the LSG openers. With his eighth wicket in this IPL season, Khaleel became the joint fourth in the wicket-takers list.

Khaleel, bowling his third over of the Power-play, got the second wicket for Delhi as Devdutt Padikkal was pinned in front of middle and leg for his fifth consecutive single-figure score since joining LSG. He thought about reviewing the decision but there was much less doubt about this call, and in the end, he just headed to the dressing room. Super Giants were 42 for 2 in the fifth over.

Skipper KL Rahul, on the other end, showed intent after facing criticism for his approach in the previous matches. He looked in sparkling touch and his first boundary was a flat six off Khaleel, flayed over cover. He then greeted Mukesh Kumar’s arrival into the attack for the final over of the Power-play with back-to-back fours, the second a smooth on-the-walk drive through extra cover. LSG were 57/2 after six overs, ahead of the pace they set against Titans in their previous match. With 30 off 14 balls, this was Rahul’s joint-best Power-play score for the Super Giants.

Kuldeep Yadav missed the Capitals’ last three matches due to an injury, but he was back with a bang. The wrist-spinner picked up Marcus Stoinis (8) on his third ball, a wrong’un sliced tamely towards backward point, and then followed it up by removing Nicholas Pooran, LSG’s in-form batter, for zero with one that ripped back to uproot the off-stump. Not only did Kuldeep put the brakes on the home side’s run surge and quietened the crowd, he also completely nobbled the stump.

Rahul was batting beautifully on 39 from 21 when he attempted to cut one going across him and feathered an edge behind off Kuldeep. It wasn’t given out on the field, but Rishabh Pant quickly reviewed it and Rahul departed after scoring 39. LSG were 80/5 at the end of 10 overs, having brought Deepak Hooda in as their Impact Substitute replacing de Kock.

Kuldeep Yadav ended his spell with figures of 3-20 in his four overs.

No boundaries came in almost the next five overs for the host as Ayush Badoni and Krunal Pandya rotated the strike and kept the scoreboard ticking. LSG were six down after the fall of Pandya (3) off the final ball of the 13th over and the second over of Mukesh Kumar. Kuldeep started the rot with two in two balls and the home side since then lost 5 for 28 during the middle overs of their innings.

The only plus point that LSG had in their favour was they never lost when defending a target of 160-plus and Badoni was looking good with his bat. He had earlier smoked Mukesh Kumar for back-to-back boundaries in his second over.

With the spinners bowled out and Khaleel Ahmed returning for the 18th over, Badoni decided it was time to go after the bowling. The first ball of the over was short and smoked over midwicket for six. Arshad Khan then muscled four more down the ground and was dropped by Prithvi Shaw from the final delivery of the over – the most expensive of the innings, with 15 runs conceded.

Badoni, with a strike rate of 167.70 in death overs, turned the momentum in LSG’s favour after back-to-back boundaries — over sweeper cover and a ramp over deep fine leg — to take the hosts past 150. Badoni completed his half-century in 31 deliveries on the last ball of the 19th over.

He and Arshad Khan added 73 runs in 42 deliveries for the eighth wicket partnership, which propelled host Lucknow Super Giants to 167/7 at the end of 20 overs. It was the highest eighth-wicket partnership in IPL history.

It was the first time Lucknow Super Giants lost a match defending the target of 160-plus.

Brief scores:

Lucknow Super Giants 167/7 in 20 overs (Ayush Badoni 55 not out, KL Rahul 39; Kuldeep Yadav 3-20, Khaleel Ahmed 2-41) lost to Delhi Capitals 170/4 in 18.1 overs (Jake Fraser-McGurk 55, Rishabh Pant 41; Ravi Bishnoi 2-25, Naveen-ul-Haq 1-24) by six wickets. (Agency)

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