KL Rahul scored his second century against Mumbai in the ongoing Indian T20 Cricket League 2022 tournament while Krunal Pandya returned with a superb three-wicket haul to power Lucknow to a big 36-run victory in the Match No 37 played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday night.
The R Sharma-led Mumbai side returned to their home ground Wankhede stadium after a gap of 1,038 days but their comeback to their favourite hunting ground where they have recorded several memorable victories was of no impact, since the five-time title winners succumbed to a new low of suffering an 8th consecutive defeat in the ongoing 15th edition of the world's biggest T20 Cricket League.
The Lucknow captain KL Rahul continued to be a thorn in Mumbai’s flesh as he slammed his second century of the season that too against the five-time title winners to set up a victory for the new Indian T20 team Lucknow.
KL Rahul scored 103 from 62 balls with the help of 12 boundaries and 4 sixes to become only the second cricketer ever in the history of Indian T20 Cricket League to have scored at least two centuries against one particular opposition in a season.
The former India and Bangalore captain V Kohlii was the 1st to do so in his extremely successful season back in 2016 when he hammered two centuries against the now-defunct Gujrat Lions.
After being asked to bat first, Lucknow finished at a competitive total of 168/6 in their 20 overs and in their reply, Mumbai could make only 132/8 with none of their batsmen making an impact on the scoreboard. Krunal Pandya was the pick among the bowlers for Lucknow as the left-arm former Mumbai all-rounder took 4-0-19-3 to break the back of Mumbai's resistance late in the match.
It all began with Quinton De Kock and KL Rahul adding 27 runs for the opening wicket before the former was dismissed on the final ball of the 4th over. KL Rahul joined forces with Manish Pandey to take Lucknow ahead as the two Karnataka batsmen batted with a lot of composure and command to add 58 runs from 47 balls for the second wicket to consolidate for their side.
Manish Pandey was looking good but Kieron Pollard had his wicket, getting the right-handed batsman caught by Riley Meredith for a run-a-ball 22, studded with one hit over the fence.
Mumbai were able to make further inroads into the Lucknow batting line-up when they had Marcus Stoinis dismissed for a three-ball duck off Daniel Sams, Krunal Pandya could manage only 1 from 2 balls that he faced against KirKieronan Pollard whereas Deepak Hooda failed to convert when he was dismissed by Riley Meredith for a 9-ball 10.
Punjab finished at a total of 168/6 from their 20 overs with Riley Meredith and Kieron Pollard taking a couple of wickets each. On the other hand, Daniel Sams and Jasprit Bumrah took 1 wicket each.
Mumbai brought about a visible change to their approach while aiming for a moderate target as they did not try to get off to a flying start. In fact, Mumbai were happy seeing off the initial few overs which did help them to position firmly to have a shot at the victory.
But unfortunately for the five-time title winners, none of their batsmen could really trouble the Lucknow bowlers with captain R Sharma top scoring a 31-ball 39 with 5 boundaries and a six whereas the young Tilak Varma contributed 38 from 27 balls with the help of 2 sixes and as many boundaries.
Once again, Mumbai suffered a collapse of sorts — Dewald Brevis was dismissed for 3 and Suryakumar Yadav was removed for 7 whereas Ishan Kishan had earlier been dismissed for a 20-ball 8.
R Sharma was dismissed by Kunal Pandya while Kieron Pollard was also the victim of the Lucknow spinner, getting him caught by Deepak Hooda at deep midwicket in the final over of the match. While Jaydev Unadkat was run out on the third ball, Krunal Pandya had Daniel Sams’ wicket in the fourth delivery.
Following the defeat by 36 runs to Lucknow, Mumbai remained at the bottom of the points to have recorded the eighth consecutive defeat whereas Lucknow moved up to the fourth spot with 10 points in eight matches that includes five women and three defeats.
Mumbai will be next seen in action on Saturday night, April 30, for the second match of the day in which they will face Rajasthan, whereas Lucknow will be locking horns with Punjab on Friday night.