New Delhi [India], April 2 (ANI): The first-ever double-header day of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 concluded on Saturday with Punjab Kings and Lucknow Super Giants starting off their campaign with a win.
On the first match of the day, Punjab Kings took on Kolkata Knight Riders and posted 191/5 in their 20 overs. Bhanuka Rajapaksa top-scored with 50 off 32 balls with five fours and two sixes. Shikhar Dhawan, the skipper anchored the innings with him, forming an 86-run stand for the second wicket. He scored 40 off 29 balls with six fours.
Quickfire knocks from Prabhsimran Singh (23), Jitesh Sharma (21) and Sam Curran (26) put PBKS in a good position.
Tim Southee (2/54) proved to be the pick of the bowlers for KKR. Sunil Narine, Varun Chakraworty and Umesh Yadav got a wicket each.
In chase of 192, KKR lost wickets at regular intervals. They were reduced to 80/5 by pacer Arshdeep Singh (3/19).
Though Venkatesh Iyer (34) and Andre Russell (35) put on a stand of 50 runs for the sixth wicket, KKR lost the match by 7 runs via the DLS method as rain interrupted play when they were at 146/7 in 16 overs.
Curran, Sikandar Raza and Nathan Ellis picked a wicket each. Arshdeep's spell earned him the 'Man of the Match' title.
Following the win, PBKS skipper Shikhar expressed happiness with a win.
"It is a great feeling to start the tournament with a win, we'll try to take the momentum in the next game and carry that confidence ahead. According to the situation I used those bowlers, good thing we have got plenty of bowlers in the side. I knew Raza was going to be handy against the left-handers, so he gave us three quality overs. Also have experienced bowlers like Sam Curran and Arshdeep in the side. Wanted to be aggressive and at the same time smart. Was trying to hold one end, and if I got out, someone else would do that. They are youngsters and they are learning. We all are living our dream and we should be happy about it. As a leader I make sure the team stays relaxed and in a happy state of mind," said the skipper.
On the other hand, KKR skipper Nitish Rana expressed that anything could have happened if the rain did not happen. He said he wanted to go with his five main bowlers.
"Was thinking of using Anukul with the ball but didn't find the right situation for it. Russell not bowling at the death was not because of any injury issue. I just felt like going with my five main bowlers. They batted well, judged the wicket better than us. Anything could've happened if the rain did not arrive. Venkatesh got out unfortunately as we were trying to get ahead on DLS. The shot was on. Overall it was a good game. Plenty of learnings from it. It's only the first game of the season," said Rana.
In the other match, LSG took on DC.
LSG posted 193/6 in their 20 overs after being put to bat first. Kyle Mayers (73 off 38 balls, two fours and seven sixes) impressed on his IPL debut while Nicholas Pooran (36 off 21 balls, two fours and three sixes) also shined for LSG. The rest of the batters could not really do much.
Khaleel Ahmed (2/30) and Chetan Sakariya (2/53) were the picks of the bowlers for DC.
In reply, DC lost wickets at regular intervals despite a solid 41-run opening stand between Prithvi Shaw (12) and skipper David Warner. Pacer Mark Wood ran riot over DC batting lineup. Only Warner (56 off 48 with seven fours) and Rilee Rossouw (30 off 20, with three fours and a six) could score something noteworthy.
DC finished at 143/9 in 20 overs, losing by 50 runs. Wood's spell of 5/14 earned him the 'Man of the Match' title. Avesh Khan and Ravi Bishnoi took two scalps as well.
Following the win, LSG skipper KL Rahul expressed happiness with the win and lauded Mayers and Wood for their performances.
"It was a great start. We were clueless of the pitch, nice way to start. We'll take confidence from this win. Toss is not in our hands, with the new rules you get to play with the team you want. Gives great depth in bowling and batting. I thought we were 30 runs above par. The way Kyle (Mayers) batted. We took an aggressive approach against the spinners and put them under pressure. I thought they started well, but we came back well. It was Wood's day today, it's a dream for a fast bowler and a team. He made it count. Overall, the bowling group did well and put pressure on the batters. We are not going to make too much of it, we'll take confidence from it. It's T20 cricket, you need to turn up every day and be ready for the fight. We do not want to think too much about this win," said KL.
On the other hand, Warner, the DC skipper said, "It was a bit of a challenge. We had some early momentum with the fast bowlers, they bowled very well in the powerplay. A few dropped catches and the momentum shifted there but you cannot take anything away from Lucknow. They batted very very well. I thought 170 was par but they did an exceptional job. Momentum is a big thing in this game. Do not take it away from Wood, he's an exceptional bowler and he showed his true talent tonight. I feel on this wicket you're playing on two different surfaces from either end. We started very well. Our bowlers bowled exceptionally well. (On the knock of Mayers) When one guy goes big, he is a big strong boy. He was hard to stop. We go back to Delhi in front of our home crowd. We have to assess the wicket there. Last time I was in Delhi back in 2010-11 it was low and slow. It looks like there's a bit of green grass there now with some dew coming in late in the night." (ANI)