A crestfallen Lucknow Super Giants captain KL Rahul was left wondering over the sequence of events which led to his team failing to chase down a target of 136 against defending champions Gujarat Titans in an IPL 2023 match, here on Saturday.
Rahul looked good in reaching his fifty in 38 balls and had a strike-rate upwards of 150 in powerplay, apart from sharing fifty-plus stands with Kyle Mayers and Krunal Pandya.
But after crossing his fifty, the LSG skipper managed to get his next 18 runs off 23 balls to eventually make 68 off 61 balls, falling in the final over to Mohit Sharma as Lucknow ended up at 128/7 in 20 overs, choking in what looked like an easy chase in a baffling fashion.
"I don't know how it happened, but it has happened. I can't put a finger on where it went wrong, but we lost 2 points today, and this is cricket. We were well ahead in the game and I wasn't really trying to bat deep," Rahul said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Rahul also admitted that Lucknow could have pushed for more scoring opportunities, especially after not hitting a boundary after the 13th over of their chase.
"I still wanted to play my shots, take on the bowlers. But they bowled well in that 2-3 overs period, by Noor (Ahmad) and Jayant (Yadav)" he said.
"We perhaps should have taken a few more chances with wickets in hand. They bowled decently, but I think we missed out on some boundary opportunities, the pressure got to us in the last 3-4 overs, we played well until then. They did bowl well though," he added.
For Lucknow, Krunal bowled an economical spell of 2/16 while Marcus Stoinis took two wickets in the final over and Naveen-ul-Haq shined with brilliant pace-off bowling to restrict Gujarat to a modest 135/6.
"I thought we were brilliant with the ball, 135 was 10 runs under par, the bowling was exceptional. We started well with the bat, but these things happen, we'll have to take it on the chin. But still a long way to go, 8 points off 7 games, we were on the wrong side of the result today," concluded a dejected Rahul.
Lucknow's next game in IPL 2023 will be against Punjab Kings at the IS Bindra PCA Stadium in Mohali on April 28.
( 426 Words)