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

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

After losing their fourth throw in four matches, the Rajasthan Royals found a way to successfully defend for the third time in a highly tactical game. The Royals promoted R Ashwin to No 6 in the 10th only for him to to declare oneself in the 19th to allow Riyan Parag to hit 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 round to ensure their leading hitters were not exposed to Trent Boultit’s the swing.

A measure of the difficulty of defending is that despite Shimron Hetmyertowards the end of the first inning – he scored 38 on the last 15 balls he faced – despite Boult swinging early to get KL Rahul’s 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 was IPL debutant Kuldeep Sen having to defend 14 in the last over.

Unlike Indian international Prasidh Krishna, who tempted the Yorkers in the 19th and conceded 19 to Marcus Stoinis – retained for this role alone – Sen played back and forth on the outside to shoot three points for make 14 necessary out of two. The four and six of the last two balls didn’t matter.

Quick start for the Royals

The Royals are now accustomed to the difficult task of striking first, and as a result, their openers came out shooting. Jos Buttler got stuck in Holder, and Devdutt Padikkal, replacing Yashaswi Jaiswal at the top of the order, cut Ravi Bishnoi for two limits in fourth to make it 39 for 0.

Chameera and Avesh set back Royals

Dushamntha Chameera then came back to throw a fifth from three. Buttler felt compelled to go after the sixth, but Avesh Khan was spot on with the first ball, finding the stumps. An almighty downturn ensued even with Sanju Samson batting with full intent. More than five through 15 produced only four limits; the 11 overs went for just 53.

Four wickets also fell. Samson missed a slower full throw from Holder, and a frustrated Padikkal fell on a reverse sweep from Gowtham for a run-a-ball 29. When Gowtham turned the ball against the corner of the wicket to overthrow Rassie van der Dussen , it was obvious that it was not easy ground. It was then that the Royals dispatched Ashwin.

Ashwin breaks the chains

Ashwin has beaten in the IPL top six before, but usually in low-scoring matches to stabilize tricky chases. It was the first time he had broken in the top six when setting a goal. He was 9 out of 14 at the start of the 16 when he decided his job was done. He started knocking now and dispatched Gowtham for back-to-back sixes, only the third time he’s hit more than one in an IPL round.

Hetmyer thrives amid chaos

After a no-limit 17th by Avesh, Hetmyer found freedom against Holder, hitting the 18th for two sixes and a four. Two shots in the 19th, Hetmyer was stunned at the sight of Ashwin leaving and Parag entering. That didn’t stop Hetmyer from hitting the next two balls for six – an overcut and a slog to the midwicket. Holder tried the Yorkers in the final over, and Hetmyer and Parag hit a six apiece to give the Royals the knockout they needed.

Boult swings, LSG gets funky

Boult played the first pitch of an inning 79 times. Only twice he went around the counter, both times to Rahul. Boult said it was James Neesham’s suggestion at breakfast. Samson was informed of the plan seconds before the chase began. Boult filled it in and had it sewn up. Rahul said he didn’t see it or he would have put a bat on it. He went over the inside edge and knocked it down.

Now, that can’t be a response to a first-ball wicket. LSG always wanted to get funky if they lost a wicket early because they wanted Stoinis to bat after the 15th. First came Gowtham. Boult went over the wicket to return the ball and trap it dead in front. Then came Holder. With the ball moving, the points piled up and Holder fell trying to force Krishna’s hard lengths. The Super Giants were 14 for 3 in the fourth over.

The spinners take over

If the plan was to be disruptive and aggressive with low cost wickets, Royals bowlers had now forced the Super Giants to play cricket the old fashioned way. Quinton de Kock – a bad game against both spinners – and Deepak Hooda had to rebuild the sleeves. Just after timeout at 52 for 3 in nine overs, Hooda tried to knock, and Sen hit his wicket, much like Avesh did with Buttler earlier. When Chahal got rid of Ayush Badoni late in the 12th, the Super Giants promoted Krunal Pandya even though it meant having two left-handed hitters in the middle. Samson, too, continued to retain Chahal for Stoinis.

Chahal strikes hard

The Super Giants continued to hold back until 15th, after which they needed 69 points. With two overs from Chahal in the bank, Samson didn’t have to wait for Stoinis to arrive either. In the 16th, Chahal sacked both de Kock and Pandya. Soon de Kock, who struggled for fluidity throughout, found long with a vertical pull, and Pandya was defeated on the sweep.

In the 18th, Chahal also got rid of Dushmantha Chameera, but Avesh hit a six on the last ball of Chahal’s spell to keep the Super Giants in the hunt. Just about.

The end game

With 34 needed from two overs, the Royals looked to the senior bowler first to hopefully leave a cushion for the youngster. Krishna, who has become a bit of a hard lengths specialist for India, stayed with the Yorkers. Aside from a ramp for four, Stoinis’ other two sixes in the most came out missed yorkers. It was a bit of a surprise that he would give up his favorite length for the Yorkers, especially with a wetball.

Sen’s lengths in the final were in the slot, but he stayed well out of Stoinis’ reach. Stoinis attempted a ramp and two ground punches, but couldn’t find the limit.

Sidharth Monga is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo

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