Stoinis, bowlers take Lucknow Super Giants closer to playoffs

NEW DELHI: Marcus Stoinis played a steady innings, scoring a composed fifty, to support the exceptional performance of the bowlers as the Lucknow Super Giants secured a tense four-wicket victory over the Mumbai Indians in the IPL on Tuesday, thereby bolstering their chances of securing a play-off spot.
The Mumbai Indians’ top order struggled, managing only a below-par total of 144 for seven, with contributions from Nehal Wadhera (46), Ishan Kishan (32), and Tim David (35 not out).
In response, Stoinis scored 62 off 45 balls, including seven boundaries and two sixes. Despite his departure, LSG faced some nervous moments but managed to seal the win with four balls remaining.
With their sixth win in 10 games, LSG moved up to third place in the IPL standings, while MI dropped to their seventh loss in 10 games.
LSG made a watchful start to their chase after Nuwan Thushara struck with his fourth ball to remove impact sub Arshin Kulkarni for a duck on his IPL debut.
Stoinis cracked two back-to-back boundaries off Gerald Coetzee, who ended up conceding 15 in his first over. K L Rahul (28 off 22) too joined the party, slamming three fours and a six to take 20 runs off Thushara.
Stoinis then whacked Bumrah over longoff as LSG reached 52 in the powerplay.
Mohammed Nabi held on to a skier at the boundary line as Hardik Pandya produced a breakthrough, removing Rahul.
Stoinis, however, kept going strong as he and Deepak Hooda (18) added another 40 runs off 35 balls to take LSG close to 100.
Hooda was then removed by Hardik but Stoinis reached his fifty off 39 balls in the 14th over and then dispatched Mohammed Nabi for a four and a six.
Coetzee bowled Ashton Turner, while Ayush Badoni was run out to give hopes to MI before Nicholas Pooran (14 not out) knocked off the remaining runs.
Earlier, MI dug in a big hole for themselves by losing four wickets in the powerplay. The visitors just couldn’t recover from the hiccup despite a 53-run fifth-wicket stand between Wadhera and Kishan.
Tim David hit a few shots in the end, including a 17-run last over, to give the total some semblance of respectability.
MI’s top-order misfired as the visitors managed just 28 for four in the first six overs, the second-lowest powerplay score of this IPL.
While Rohit Sharma (4) was sent back by left arm pacer Mohin Khan, Stoinis induced a fine edge with a slow ball to get rid of Suryakumar Yadav (10).
MI slipped into further trouble when Ravi Bishnoi’s direct throw found in-form Tilak Varma short of the crease.
Skipper Hardik then was out for a golden duck after poking at an away going delivery from Naveen Ul Haq, as MI slumped to 27 for four in 5.2 overs.
LSG used Stoinis well in the powerplay as his spell of three overs with the new ball yielded a wicket for 19.
Returning from injury, pace sensation Mayank Yadav could have had a wicket but Turner dropped Ishan Kishan (32) at deep square leg.
Kishan and Nehal Wadhera tried to steady the ship with their fifth wicket stand but LSG bowlers didn’t give much away as MI reached 68 for four in 12 overs.
With seven overs remaining, Kishan tried to up the ante only to fall for a Bishnoi googly. Wadhera, however, smashed Mayank for two sixes and a four as 16 runs came off the 15th over.
Mohammed Nabi then dragged one on to the stumps off Mayank, who left the field immediately, raising concerns of injury.
(With inputs from PTI)

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