Super bowling by Yuzvendra Chahal (4/41) following a brilliant late onslaught by Shimron Hetmyer (59 not out off 36 balls) and a tactical switch by R Ashwin, who became the first player in IPL history to get 'retired out', helped Rajasthan Royals beat Lucknow Super Giants by three runs in Match 20 of the IPL 2022, here on Sunday.
Hetmyer and Ashwin were going strong having rescued Rajasthan Royals from 4-67 to 135 in the 19th over when Ashwin, after taking a single off Avesh Khan spirited to the dugout, ruling himself retired out. That allowed Riyan Parag, considered a better finisher, to step into the field and he and Hetmyer took Royals to a modest total that they went on to defend thanks to a clinical bowling performance.
Trent Boult struck two blows off his first two deliveries and Chahal wrapped up the middle order and though Marcus Stoinis hammered a few big sixes to drag Lucknow to the last over needing 15 runs off six deliveries. But debutant Kuldeep Sen, a young right-arm pacer from Madhya Pradesh, bowled superbly to deny Stoinis the chance to become the hero and Lucknow fell agonizingly close, restricted to 162/8 in 20 overs.
Boult struck two mighty blows in the first over, sending back skipper KL Rahul (0) and Krishnappa Gowtham (0) off the first two deliveries of LSG innings and Chahal took over the good work in the middle overs, as LSG slumped to 5-74 in the 12 over. Though Quinton de Kock (39) held one end up for some time and Marcus Stoinis (38 not out off 17) landed some lusty blows in the last couple of overs, they could not drag Lucknow across the victory line.
Earlier, it was Heymyer and Ashwin who rescued the Royals from 67/4 to help them post a total they could defend.
Hetmyer and Ashwin added 68 runs for the fifth wicket of 51 balls as they revived the Royals innings. Royals blasted 78 runs off the last five overs.
Rajasthan opened their batting with Jos Buttler and Devdutt Padikkal and they provided them a decent start, taking them to 42 before Buttler was out, when pacer Avesh Khan castled him with his first ball.
Skipper Sanju Samson (13), Rassie van der Dussen (4) and Padikkal ( Rajasthan Royals slumped to 67/4 with Krishnappa Gowtham picking a couple of wickets and Avesh Khan and Jason Holder bagging one each.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Shimron Hetmyer resurrected the innings and then unleashed some superb shots to add 68 runs for the fifth wicket.
Brief scores: Rajasthan Royals 165/6 in 20 overs (Devdutt Padikkal 29, Shimron Hetmyer 59 not out, R Ashwin 28; K Gowtham 2/30, Jason Holder 2/48) beat Lucknow Super Giants 162/8 in 20 overs (Quinton de Kock 39, Deepak Hooda 25; Yuzvendra Chahal 4/41, Trent Boult 2/30) by 3 runs.