Lucknow Super Giants 210 to 0 (de Kock 140*, Rahul 68*) beaten Kolkata Knight Riders 208 for 8 (Shreyas 50, Rinku 40, Mohsin 3-20) by two runs
So there was this guy who scored an undefeated 140, and yet the game-winning shot could were 40 out of 15
The Kolkata Knight Riders were having a day, picking up no wickets but losing two in their first three overs, with their chances of winning hovering between 96.03% and 0.35%.
Rinku took them to the brink of a truly ridiculous result. But, in the middle of a game that should have been Super Giants but is now slipping away quickly, which is like the worst kind of pressure, Stoinis has defended 4 out of 3 picking up two wickets in two runs. One was a barely believable take from Evin Lewis that will go down in IPL lore. What a way to seal your spot in the playoffs.
de Kock decimated the mystery spinners of the Knight Riders, hitting a 183 rate against Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy.
The trick – and simple as it was – was his ability to sweep the ball. Wary of bowling too hard and bowling with that strength, both bowlers backed off. But that was the whole point of de Kock’s plan because if there’s one shot he plays even better than the sweep, it’s the pull.
de Kock played mystery spinners the way they usually play opposition hitters, casting doubt in their minds and making them question themselves.
On de Kock’s 50th Test match, his manager Mark Boucher said he would go on to play 100. As it turned out, he retired after just four more. the most coveted of all batting skills: the ability to knock down the opponent’s best bowlers.
He was particularly brutal on KKR’s designated death bowler Andre Russell, carving him out for 42 runs on just 15 balls, including five fours and two sixes.
After getting his century, de Kock collapsed to his knees, first holding his head in his hands, then hitting the turf at DY Patil Stadium.
But he still hadn’t finished. From 60 out of 44, he trashed 80 out of 26. Nobody could stop him. Not before he had scored his highest score in T20 cricket, set the record for the highest opening partnership in IPL history, and ensured for only the fourth time that a team beating first had completed its full quota of overs without losing a single wicket.
Despite all the uproar around Umran Malik, there is another uncapped Indian fast bowler who has been just as good, maybe even better.
The Super Giants had an opening and Rahul played once more, bringing in versatile hitter Stoinis to tempt the opposition. Shreyas had no choice. He went for the big shot and was caught at the border.
The genius of Avesh
This is how you build an over against Andre Russell.
First hard length ball. Almost ends up as a long-term hold. Then, with Russell back on the strike, quick and short and out of reach, twice. Then the yorker, heeling at the last second, nearly knocked him off his feet. Then the wide yorker.
When Russell fell to 17th, to another slower Mohsin, the Knight Riders’ chance of victory was less than 1%. They needed 61 out of 20 balls.
Rinku and Narine are an unlikely power pair, but they can still power punch. Activated by a steady diet of long balls and yorkers turning into full throws, the two southpaws crushed 40 on 14 deliveries and took us straight into the gray zone.
Everything can happen.
And that’s what he did. Rinku smoked Stoinis all over the park. Lewis landed a jaw-dropping one-handed hold, sprinting at full tilt out of the boundary of coverage, then diving to his left. Finally, with 3 needed on the last ball, Stoinis demolished Umesh Yadav’s stumps.
Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo