Lucknow became the third team to qualify for the 2023 Indian T20 League playoffs, courtesy of a hard-fought one-run triumph over Kolkata, at the Eden Gardens. Subsequently, the two-time champions’ campaign also comes to a conclusion.
Put to bat first, Lucknow scored 176 runs, with Nicholas Pooran’s half-century, and Ayush Badoni’s supporting act rescuing the team from a precarious position. In response, Kolkata were just a run short, with Rinku Singh’s 33-ball 67 not yielding two points.
Lucknow had a difficult start with the bat, as Kolkata’s uncapped pace pairing of Harshit Rana and Vaibhav Arora did a decent job. They combined to bowl seven overs, wherein they conceded just 51 runs and also picked up three wickets.
At one stage, Lucknow were reeling at 73/5, but Pooran and Badoni’s sixth-wicket stand changed the complexion of the game. The Caribbean wicketkeeper-batter was the star of the show, scoring 58 runs in 30 deliveries.
Kolkata had a flying start with the bat, until the introduction of the spin trio of Krunal Pandya, Krishnappa Gowtham and Ravi Bishnoi. They worked wonders for the team that donned green and maroon in this game, as a tribute to ATK Mohun Bagan, with Rinku ending up on the losing side, despite yet another herculean effort.
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