A David vs Goliath contest for the ages. A very inexperience and depleted Punjab Kings managed to defeat the ruthless and powerful Lucknow Super Giants, to keep the points table wide open.
After winning the toss, PBKS asked LSG to bat first. The Super Giants huffed and puffed to 159/8, courtesy a 56-ball-74 from their skipper. In response, Matthew Short first got them off to a strong start, before Sikandar Raza took over and reduced the deficit. Shahrukh Khan then played the finisher's role to perfection, ensuring PBKS chased this down with three balls to spare.
"I think we were about 10 runs short towards the end. The dew came in and it seemed to help the batters a little bit more. We did not execute well with the ball. When you are playing on a new ground and a new pitch, you cannot rely on the previous games."
"We take it as it comes, assess it on the go and not really set ourselves a target. If a couple of batters get in, play good knocks, we can get to 180-190. Unfortunately, today, few of the batters hit good shots but got caught just on the boundary line. On another day, we would have got those 10-15 runs extra that would have made the difference," KL Rahul, the Lucknow skipper, said.
Sam Curran, on captaincy debut, did a good job of marshalling his troops. He got his bowling decisions right, and was very pleased with the result.
"Amazing win and this franchise seems to love a close game. The boys chipped in; it was not a perfect game but good to win. The guys bowled really well; the spinners bowled nicely. The way we bowled towards the end was good. Dew came in but the wicket was still offering a bit."
A last minute injury to skipper, Shikhar Dhawan, meant that Sam Curran had to get up to speed quickly. This also meant that he had to depend on the management's inputs on each player.
"Raza played nicely in the middle, and the way Shahrukh came in and finished. The word around the dressing room is that he has worked very hard and the coaching staff have been clear with his role. Fingers crossed he can keep continuing."
"Different dimensions, so, each game, you have to come up with different plans. The rhythm is good. We used 6-7 bowlers, we have so many options and that is good to have," Sam Curran said.
Punjab now have a five day break before clashing with Royal Challengers Bangalore at home on the 21st April. Meanwhile, Lucknow take on the Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur a day before, on the 20th April.