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LSG lose to RCB in low-scoring game

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Lucknow: Lucknow Super Giants succumbed to a disappointing loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore in their ninth match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 on Monday.

LSG spinners Ravi Bishnoi, Amit Mishra, Krishnappa Gowtham and Krunal Pandya did well to restrict the visitors to a modest total of 126/9 at the Bharat Ratna Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Stadium, but a lukewarm showing with the bat left the Lucknow 18 runs short.

The defeat saw Lucknow slip down a place to third in the IPL 2023 points table but they’re still in touching distance with league leaders Gujarat Titans, who have two points more having played one fewer game.

Asked to field first by Bangalore, Lucknow bowlers kept it tight in the opening few overs, mostly thanks to Krunal Pandya giving away just 14 runs in his first spell of three overs.

However, the decisive opening breakthrough proved elusive, as both Bangalore openers – Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis – survived some close calls in the opening three overs.

Meanwhile, Lucknow captain KL Rahul had to leave the field after injuring his right thigh while fielding.

Despite the absence of the skipper on the pitch, the Lucknow bowlers did well to keep the run rate under control and the pressure eventually paid off as Kohli, trying to accelerate, stepped out to hoist Ravi Bishnoi over long on only to miss the flight of the ball completely.

Nicholas Pooran made no mistakes and dislodged the bails for an easy stumping.

Kohli’s departure opened the floodgates as Anuj Rawat and the dangerous Glenn Maxwell also departed without reaching double digits, with Bishnoi accounting for the latter as well.

Amit Mishra then reduced Bangalore to 90/4 after forcing Suyash Prabhudessai to play one straight to Krishnappa Gowtham, who incidentally picked up Rawat’s wicket, at long off.

After a rain-induced break, Mishra was back at it, this time showing the set du Plessis the way back to the dressing room, with a bit of help from Krunal this time.

After the slow bowlers dominated the middle overs, Lucknow pacer Naveen-ul-Haq (three wickets) rattled the Bangalore tail as the home side ended their innings with 126/9.

Chasing 127 to win, Lucknow lost early wickets and were reduced to 21/3 with the top three – Kyle Mayers, Ayush Badoni and Krunal – departing cheaply.

Missing the injured Rahul to anchor the innings, Lucknow continued to lose wickets at regular intervals and failed to string together any productive partnerships.

Marcus Stoinis and Gowtham managed one for the sixth wicket, but Karn Sharma removed Stoinis to leave Lucknow looking down the barrel at 65/6.

Two unfortunate run outs didn’t help Lucknow’s cause.

A resilient 26-run partnership between Mishra and Naveen for the ninth wicket left Lucknow with 23 to get from the final over.

However Mishra and a struggling KL, who bravely came out to bat for the last wicket despite his leg injury rendering him unable to run, couldn’t pull off a miracle for the home team.

Lucknow will host Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday.

The two teams have only faced off twice in the IPL and each have one head-to-head victory to their name. Lucknow lost to Chennai by 12 runs when they met earlier this season.

Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 126/9 (Faf du Plessis 44, Virat Kohli 31, Naveen-ul-Haq 3/30, Amit Mishra 2/21, Ravi Bishnoi 2/21) beat Lucknow SuperGiants 108/10 (Krishnappa Gowtham 23, Amit Mishra 19, Josh Hazlewood 2/15, Karn Sharma 2/20) by 18 runs.

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