The 68th game of the Indian Premier League 2023 was played on Saturday, May 20, at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata between the two-time winners Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). LSG overcame KKR by one run to clinch their spot in the playoffs.
After winning the toss, Nitish Rana decided to bowl first. Quinton de Kock and Karan Sharma started the game for LSG. However, KKR’s bowlers got off to a strong start, as LSG lost their first wicket in just three overs. While de Kock hit 28 runs off 27 balls, including two sixes, Karan only managed to score three runs. Prerak Mankad took a few swings before being caught for 26 runs off 20 balls, five of which were fours. When LSG reached 73 runs for five wickets in 10.1 overs, they collapsed.
Ayush Badoni then made 25 runs off 21 balls. Nicholas Pooran scored 58 runs off 30 balls in a counter-attacking performance that included four fours and five sixes. As LSG scored 176 runs for eight wickets in 20 overs, Krishnappa Gowtham struck 11* runs off four deliveries. Vaibhav Arora, Shardul Thakur, and Sunil Narine each claimed two wickets for the KKR.
Brilliant bowling performance by LSG
In response, KKR got off to a flying start, thanks to openers Venkatesh Iyer and Jason Roy, who put together a 61-run partnership for the first wicket during the powerplay. However, after both of the openers were dismissed, LSG began their spin choke, and KKR had no relief. Bishnoi bowled an outstanding spell of 2/23, and Krunal and Gowtham each claimed a few wickets.
Then, by slowing down the ball’s speed, Naveen-ul-Haq and Yash Thakur bowled some tight overs. When KKR required 40 runs off of the final two overs, Rinku Singh showed his class. He hit three fours and a six off Naveen, and when 21 runs were required off the last over, he nearly led the side over the finish line. Ultimately, KKR falls short by one run.
Here’s how fans reacted:
Poor bowlers can’t even stop 4 sixes in 6 balls
— Lenson (@lensond) May 20, 2023
Wait wait Milenge Playoffs me
— Akash Kumar sahu (@_imAkash18_) May 20, 2023
Best finisher India has ever produced in t20s Rinkuuuu
— nuktacheeni (@o_sanamm) May 20, 2023
Credit goes to Legend Naveen sir
What a character Naveen sir have just love itt🔥🔥
— RAJ (@raj4567812) May 20, 2023
Rinku Singh, bhai BCCI per pressure dalo is bande ko World Cup me chaheye kaise bhi kar ke
— Shri Dev Tiwari (@shridev94) May 20, 2023
sarr fod le bkl😂😂😂😂
apne Talib ko bol ki bomb laga ki uda ke khud ko😂😂😂
— Amman (@AMANAVIN) May 20, 2023
Dream for chokli nd haaarccbbbb
— Arpit (@arpit_P07) May 20, 2023
Aaj Naveen Ul Haq ko bahut saare mangoes khilayega @GautamGambhir
— Vek D Best (@vek1989) May 20, 2023
Gambhir vs Kohli in eliminator🥳
— Rushi (@Sarcasticpunekr) May 20, 2023
Kal bas RCB haar Jaye tab din ban jaye 🥰🥰
— Samrat (@samratsp3) May 20, 2023