Recent Match Report – Royals vs Super Giants 20th Match 2022

Rajasthan Royals 165 for 6 (Hetmyer 59*, Gowtham 2-30) beat Lucknow Super Giants 162 for 8 (de Kock 39, Stoinis 38*, Chahal 4-41) by three runs

Having lost their fourth toss in four matches, Rajasthan Royals found a way to defend successfully for the third time in a highly tactical game. Royals promoted R Ashwin to No. 6 in the 10th over only for him to declare himself out in the 19th over to allow Riyan Parag hitting time in the middle. Lucknow Super Giants were not to be left behind: they promoted K Gowtham and Jason Holder as two wickets fell in the first over to make sure their main batters were not exposed to Trent Boult‘s swing.

A measure of how difficult it is to defend is that despite Shimron Hetmyer‘s assault towards the end of the first innings – he scored 38 off the last 15 balls he faced – despite Boult’s swing at the start to get KL Rahul first ball, despite Ashwin’s four overs for 20 runs, despite Yuzvendra Chahal‘s two overs in the last five to take four wickets, it came down to IPL debutant Kuldeep Sen having to defend 14 in the last over.

Unlike the India international Prasidh Krishna, who attempted yorkers in the 19th and conceded 19 to Marcus Stoinis – incidentally held back for just this role – Sen bowled length and wide outside off to bowl three dots to make it 14 needed off two. The four and six off the final two balls didn’t matter.

Quick start for Royals

Royals are by now used to the difficult task of batting first, and accordingly their openers came out firing. Jos Buttler got stuck into Holder, and Devdutt Padikkal, replacing Yashaswi Jaiswal at the top of the order, cut Ravi Bishnoi for two boundaries in the fourth over to make it 39 for 0.

Chameera, Avesh pull Royals back

Dushamntha Chameera then returned to bowl a three-run fifth over. Buttler felt obliged to go after the sixth over, but Avesh Khan was spot on with the first ball, finding the stumps. An almighty slowdown ensued even with Sanju Samson batting with all his intent. Overs five to 15 produced only four boundaries; the 11 overs went for just 53.

Four wickets fell, too. Samson missed a slower full toss from Holder, and a frustrated Padikkal fell to a reverse-sweep off Gowtham for a run-a-ball 29. When Gowtham turned the ball against the round-the-wicket angle to bowl Rassie van der Dussen, it was apparent this was not an easy pitch. That’s when Royals sent Ashwin out.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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