Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) got their tactics wrong and pressed the panic button to go down tamely to Mumbai Indians (MI) in the IPL 2023 Eliminator at Chepauk on Wednesday night. LSG omitted attacking wicketkeeper-opener Quinton de Kock from their playing XI and it turned out to be a big blunder, especially once MI posted a formidable 182/8 after opting to bat.
LSG picked Kyle Mayers ('Impact Player'), Marcus Stoinis, Nicholas Pooran and Naveen-ul-Haq as their four overseas professionals. Naveen (4/38) and Stoinis (40) fought hard, while Mayers (18) and Pooran (0) failed. It must be mentioned that Pooran's was a rare failure and he got a beauty from Akash Madhwal first up. In hindsight, LSG would have been better off fielding de Kock who did not even feature in the susbstitutes' list.
Captain Krunal Pandya's gamble to come in at No. 3 did not yield the desired result. The left-hander ate up 11 balls for his eight and then threw it away after the first strategic timeout. Pandya falling to leg-spinner Piyush Chawla triggered a sensational collapse as LSG slumped from 69/2 in the ninth over to 101 all out in quick time.
The LSG think-tank consisting of head coach Andy Flower and mentor Gautam Gambhir sent in Ayush Badoni at the fall of Pandya's wicket ahead of the in-form Pooran. Further it would have made sense to promote Pooran to No. 5 as the West Indian could have kept the left-right combination going in the company of Stoinis. Badoni struggled big time, managing only one off seven balls before being cleaned up by Madhwal.
The Uttarakhand medium-pacer continued his dream run by snaring Pooran first ball. Stoinis was the lone hope for LSG from then on, but the Australian all-rounder collided with Deepak Hooda while going for a second run and was run out.
All-rounder K Gowtham and Hooda too ran themselves out as LSG committed hara-kiri. In the end they were bundled out for 101 with 21 balls remaining.
The 81-run margin win was MI's first over LSG in four attempts. Five-time champions MI raised their game, especially fielding in the knockout match, while LSG crumbled under pressure to bow out in the Eliminator for the second successive season.