Lucknow Super Giants and Yash Thakur held their nerve in the final over of the game to edge past Kolkata Knight Riders by one run in an evening encounter at the Eden Gardens on Saturday, May 21.
With eight wins and 17 points, they are the third team to secure their place in the playoffs of this edition, along with Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings.
With 21 runs required off the last six deliveries, Rinku Singh smashed a couple of sixes and a boundary to get the home team agonisingly close to the 177-run target.
In the post-match press conference, Andy Flower, the Head Coach of the Super Giants, heaped praises on Rinku for his blistering half-century. "We were in a really good situation because we worked so hard in the 14-15 overs, and if they had won it from there, it would be genuinely astounding," he said.
"Rinku played out of his skin again to get them that close. It was a matter of not making really obvious errors in the last few overs. "Rinku batted beautifully but Naveen and Yash did quite a tough job bowling multiple overs in a row at the death. But they came through in the end and have been brilliant this season."
"He looks like a really physically talented guy. He also looks like he is really hungry for success and humble at the same time and confident of what he can do. It's a really good package.
"There's so much batting talent in the country. He is showing that he can do it under pressure, that's a key aspect of playing international cricket. I think he's got a future," he further added.
On a sluggish surface, Nicholas Pooran scored 58 off 30 deliveries studded with four boundaries and five sixes to power the team to 176 for eight in their quota of 20 overs.
"Pooran been sensational for us and made a difference. It was important to be him there till the death. He's getting greater clarity day by day. It was a wonderful mixture of boundary hitting and also rotating the strike in an excellent partnership with Ayush Badoni, the key to winning this game." Flower said.
"He's still a young man developing his game. I'm certain that he will do amazing things for WI cricket. He's very physically talented, worked hard on bat swing, and does a lot of boundary-hitting practice. He has put in hard yards to get to where he is right now."
"I do think the captaincy experience was good for him. He is a great help to KL Rahul and now Krunal Pandya at the moment. Everyone in the dressing room loves him. He is developing nicely in all sorts of ways," he concluded.