Xtra Time Web Desk: Rinku Singh’s valiant effort (67* off 33) went in vain as Lucknow Super Giants defeated Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 1 run to seal a place in the IPL 2023 Playoffs. KKR needed 42 runs off 12 balls with Rinku at the crease. He smashed Naveen ul Haq for three consecutive boundaries and a six off the fifth ball to pick 20 runs in the 19th over. Needing 18 runs off the last three balls bowled by Yash Thakur, Rinku manged to hit two sixes and a boundary to fall tantalizingly close to the target.
While the victory assured LSG of a playoff berth, a loss to KKR put curtains on their IPL 2023 campaign. Earlier, Nicholas Pooran scored 58 runs off 30 balls as LSG posted 176 for 8 in 20 overs after getting an invitation to bat first. Sunil Narine was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 2 for 28.
Chasing 177 runs to win, Jason Roy (45 off 28) and Venkatesh Iyer (24 off 15) gave KKR a perfect start, notching up 61 runs in just 5.5 overs. But as soon as Venkatesh Iyer got out, wickets started falling at regular intervals.
Lucknow Super Giants is the third team to make it to the PlayOffs after Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings. Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals are in contention to take the last spot with two league stage matches remaining on Sunday. GT and CSK will play in the Qualifier 1 on Tuesday at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai while the Eliminator will be played at the same venue on Wednesday.
The Qualifier 2 and final will take place in Ahmedabad.