Skipper KL Rahul and Deepak Hooda struck a useful half-century and lifted Lucknow Super Giants to 169 for seven after a poor start against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL here on Monday.
After his team lost three wickets for just 27 runs in the powerplay, Rahul (68 off 50 balls) found an able ally in Deepak Hooda (51 off 33 balls) and added 87 runs for the fourth wicket to revive the innings. Rahul hit six fours and a six, while Hooda found the fence three times and also cleared it thrice.
Coming back from a long break after playing their opener last Tuesday, SRH made a dream start and left the Super Giants in all sorts of trouble early on. Making a strong comeback after the pounding in his team’s heavy defeat against Rajasthan Royals, Washington Sundar (2/28) was handed the new ball and he delivered in his very first over, and SRH’s second, dismissing the dangerous Quinton de Kock with his off -break bowling on a grassy pitch that prompted Kane Williamson to put two slips when Bhuvneshwar Kumar started the proceedings.
Backed to bowl in the powerplay despite going for plenty in the previous game, Washington got de Kock (1) to chip one to Williamson at cover. A few moments later, Washington had Evin Lewis (1) trapped in front of the wicket after the swashbuckling West Indian batter failed to execute his slog sweep. It was another huge wicket for SRH given Lewis’ blazing, match-winning knock against Chennai Super Kings last Thursday.
Manish Pandey struck Romario Shepherd for a four and a six but then, going for one too many, ended up lobbing a catch to mid-on in the same over to leave LSG in a spot of bother.
Spurred by the early success, Williamson effected bowling changes frequently but he may have delayed by at least an over in introducing the attacking T Natarajan while opting for Abdul Samad’s innocuous, part-time seam up stuff at the DY Patil Stadium.
The pacy Umran Malik consistently hit 145 kmps but also leaked plenty of runs, allowing Rahul and Hooda to settle down and revive LSG’s innings.
Having withstood the early reverses, the duo of Rahul and Hooda went about their task in a professional manner, finding the boundaries as well as running the singles and twos as the 100 came up in the 14th over with Malik going for 16 runs.
Shepherd broke the partnership when he had Hooda caught in the deep to signal the arrival of the in-form Ayush Badoni (19 off 12), who got into the groove with a boundary.