Sunil Narine produced a man of the match performance in his 500th T20 game to lead the Kolkata Knight Riders to a seven-wicket win over the Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the Tata Indian Premier League at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Friday.

The hosts won the toss and posted a formidable 182-6 from their 20 overs thanks to 83* from Virat Kohli and 33 from Cameron Green.

Andre Russell was the pick of the KKR bowlers with 2-29 from his four overs while Harshit Rana took 2-39 and Narine took 1-40.

The Knight Riders then sprinted to their target, reaching 186-3 with 19 balls to spare.

Venkatesh Iyer led the way with a 30-ball 50 including three fours and four sixes while Narine, who opened the batting, set the tone for the innings with 47 off just 22 balls including two fours and five sixes.

Kolkata Knight Riders 186 for 3 (Venkatesh Iyer 50, Sunil Narine 47) beat Royal Challengers Bengaluru 182 for 6 (Virat Kohli 83*, Andre Russell 2-29, Rana 2-39) by seven wickets

Rehan Ahmed is relaxed about his potential opportunities over the coming months after enjoying every minute of England duty this winter.

Leicestershire leg-spinner Ahmed became the country’s youngest ever men’s Test player in 2022 when he claimed a five-wicket haul on debut against Pakistan in Karachi, but had to wait a further 14 months for another shot at red-ball cricket for England.

The teenager relished the prospect of doing battle with India and picked up 11 wickets across three Tests.

 

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Ahmed, 19, is refreshed and ready to go again but has not set himself any major summer targets despite a T20 World Cup being on the horizon along with home Test series against West Indies and Pakistan.

“I’m not really fussed about what I’m trying to achieve this year,” Ahmed insisted when asked about the prospect of a home Test debut this summer.

“I’ve tried to do as much as I can within myself. So, whether that’s me getting my overs in, me getting as many runs as I can, because I love my batting and I’ve underperformed; I want to bat better.

“There’s a couple of things I really want to work on and if that takes me there, that takes me there.

“And if it doesn’t, and the balance of the teams is not right and whatnot, there are loads of things to take into account.

“I’ll be playing county cricket straight away. Leicester comes first when I’m not playing for England. I didn’t know if I wanted to play because I wanted a break, but I’ve had two weeks off and I just want to play again.”

Ahmed was part of a novice three-man spin-attack alongside Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir that flourished at times in India, but there are concerns over the number of overs the trio will get during the opening months of the domestic season.

However, the 19-year-old is not about to make any outlandish demands to his Leicestershire coaches over his bowling or batting role in a team-comes-first mentality that clearly owes much to Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum.

He added: “It’s not a case where I come in and bat where I want.

“Obviously I’ve not been here all winter. The lads have been working hard so they deserve it first, so if I make the team and I play, then hopefully I’ll get a bat.

“Bowling in matches is something I’ve lacked a bit. I’ve bowled a lot in white-ball, not heaps of overs in red-ball plus it’s April, going to be nipping round corners.

“I don’t expect to bowl loads of overs because if the seamers are getting wickets, they are getting wickets and the team comes first, but I’ll be bowling loads in training.”

Ahmed is also sure to be bouncing ideas off new buddy Bashir, who may struggle for overs at Somerset, after the pair struck up a close bond during the India tour.

“Bash was unbelievable to be with.  He made the made the trip so (much) fun for me,” Ahmed revealed.

“And his confidence was different level and that’s something I love to see because that’s exactly like how I was as well, we just kept bouncing off each other. It was great.

“I think the way Bash came into the game. Even with Harts coming in, the way I came in, it gives hope for everyone else as well.

“It doesn’t mean you have to bowl a load of overs in the champo and focus on swing and seam.  You just need to be different and be committed to it.”

Zak Crawley insists England will not adopt a “negative” approach after their recent 4-1 series defeat in India but acknowledged they must learn when to absorb pressure.

India inflicted the first series loss of the Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum era after they stormed back from going one down in Hyderabad to win the last four Tests in comprehensive fashion.

It sparked debate over England’s aggressive ‘Bazball’ style following a string of batting collapses and head coach McCullum accepted they had to refine their style moving forward.

Crawley said: “We always talk about absorbing pressure and putting pressure back on.

“The last couple of years we’ve done the putting pressure back on pretty well and we’ve spoken about maybe picking those moments to absorb at the right times as well. We can certainly refine that.

“That’s not to say we’re going to get more negative. We will still try to play the way we have and try to score quickly but yeah, picking those moments where they’re on top and we need to absorb.

“Or even the other way where they’re on top and you feel like you need to put it back on. It is just getting it right.

“(Stokes) spoke about it after the series where we need a little bit of refinement. It is not big changes.

“We just need to make sure we stay positive and don’t let a tough result get in the way of what we’re done really well over the last couple of years.”

England’s strategy of moving the game forward quickly with higher run-rates and early declarations took the cricket world by storm as they won 10 of their first 11 Tests under Stokes and McCullum.

However, seven defeats have followed from the next 12 matches and a lack of a ruthless streak has cost England at times.

After England posted a first innings total of 353 in the fourth Test in Ranchi, they reduced India to 177 for seven but let the hosts off the hook and, instead of setting up a series decider, they crumbled to a crushing five-wicket defeat.

“We genuinely believed in ourselves and thought we could win the series,” Crawley, speaking at a sponsors event for Swiss watch brand Rado, the England and Wales Cricket Board’s official timing partner, admitted.

“We should have won in Ranchi, I think, to make it 2-2 and then you never know how the last one goes.

“When the series goes like that, it is always hard to wrestle the momentum back but we were in the series massively and we always believed.

“We certainly weren’t in the games when I was in India last time (in 2021), so we gave ourselves a good chance and we weren’t quite clinical enough like they were.

“Over five days, their skills are always going to come out and they are a phenomenal team. It was a really enjoyable tour though, we gave it a good crack and there is a lot to learn from.”

A beacon of light again for England was Crawley, who for the second series in a row led the scoring charts for his team.

The Kent batter was notably labelled as a player whose “skillset is not to be a consistent cricketer” by McCullum in 2022.

 

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A string of low scores increased the external noise around his position prior to last summer’s Ashes but the 26-year-old always retained the faith of England’s key decision-makers.

Now, 12 months on, Crawley has hit seven 50+ scores and averaged 46.7 against the two best attacks in the world, which included a sensational 189 at Old Trafford last July.

“I feel in a lot better place than I was,” Crawley added.

“I’m not trying to put too much pressure on any games to be honest. When I am playing for England or for Kent, I just try and turn up with the same process.

“I am trying to embrace failure more and accepting it is part of the game and sticking with what I do well.”

Cricket West Indies (CWI) is set to unveil its new four-year strategic plan for 2024-2027, titled "The Long Run". Recently presented to the Board of Directors during a board meeting in Antigua and discussed with shareholders at the Annual General Meeting, this strategic blueprint marks a pivotal juncture for the organization and West Indies cricket.

Reflecting on 2023 as a year of recovery and describing it as crucial in laying the groundwork for this ambitious plan, CWI Chief Executive Officer, Johnny Grave, provided insight stating, "We are excited to present “The Long Run”, our strategic roadmap for the next four years. This plan sets a clear and ambitious path for CWI, focusing on strengthening our cricket system at all levels and maximizing our commercial value on the foundation of stable finances." 

Grave underscored the importance of stakeholder involvement in shaping the organization's future direction. "Having presented the strategic plan to our Board of Directors and shareholders, we are now preparing to circulate it for wider discourse. It is essential that our stakeholders not only understand but also actively engage with the strategic plan as we move forward into another four-year cycle." 

“The Long Run” will outline key objectives and initiatives aimed at fostering growth, sustainability, and excellence in cricket. It will encompass measures to enhance governance, player development, grassroots programs, fan engagement, and commercial partnerships, aligning with CWI's overarching vision to elevate West Indies cricket in the region and on the global stage. 

The strategic plan, developed internally, represents a collaborative effort by the CWI management team. It includes extensive consultations and valuable insights from staff and players. Business Planning Manager Lynford Inverary led the process, with input from the wider cricket stakeholders’ group. 

The Long Run – a strategic plan for elevating West Indies Cricket 2024-27 

Six Strategic Pillars:

· Cricket:

-Elite & High-Performance

-Cricket Development & Participation

-Facilities & Infrastructure

·Finance & Fans:

-Commercial & Financial

-Fan Engagement & Global Visibility

·Structure:

-Governance

The men and women who will be responsible for the preparations of the pitches and fields for the upcoming ICC Men’s Twenty20 (T20) World Cup, are now well equipped with the tool of the trade. Following a two-week series of workshops, the ground staff across the region went through theory and practical sessions geared towards education and re-education on the rudiment of their crucial roles.

Over 100 participants completed the workshop series, which included both indoor educational sessions and outdoor practical events. The events were led by senior officials of Cricket West Indies (CWI).

Winston Reid, the Lead Curator for the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA), lauded the initiative, which he hopes will continue beyond the World Cup.

Reid, who is based at Kensington Oval in Barbados, the venue that will host the June 29 World Cup final, had a hugely successful cricket career when he played over 100 matches at the regional level for Barbados. He joined the staff at the historic venue in 2005, ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2007.

“This was a very good initiative by the ICC [International Cricket Council], CWI [Cricket West Indies] and the BCA [Barbados Cricket Association]. This is something that should be encouraged, and I know the staff here benefited tremendously. It was a wonderful eye-opener, an education in many ways it was enlightening and interactive and the responses I got from the others who participated, said to me it was clear they too benefitted in a meaningful way,” Reid said.

“The reason behind the workshop was to improve in every way we can and to do better at our jobs. We are gearing up towards the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which will be the biggest event we have ever hosted. We will be staging the final here, at this magnificent venue, so we want to make sure everyone is fully equipped.

“Not only for Kensington, but for curatorship at all the other venues around the island and the region. We want to see better pitches and fields and playing conditions for our players to show their skills and also to entertain the fans in the stands. So, this was a very timely workshop series which augurs well for the game in the West Indies going forward," he added.

Roland Holder, CWI Manager of Cricket Operations and Head of Cricket for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, outlined the reasons behind the series of workshops. He said the series was crafted by CWI and designed to upskill existing curators across the region by exposing them to international best practices for pitch preparation and applicable maintenance, while simultaneously expanding the cadre of curators by identifying new talent with the appropriate combination of theoretical knowledge and practical exposure, to lend further expertise to match venues to deliver a world-class event in June.

A CWI Curators Manual was also produced in the lead up to the workshop and will be disseminated to the curators.

Six countries in the West Indies will host matches in the ninth edition of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup which will be played from June 1-29. West Indies, which hosted the event in 2010, will hold matches at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua; Kensington Oval, Barbados; Guyana National Stadium, Guyana; Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, Saint Lucia; Arnos Vale, St Vincent and Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago.

The event will be the largest in the tournament’s history with 20 international teams playing 55 matches across nine locations. It is the first time USA will host matches at a T20 World Cup, with 16 first-round matches split between Nassau County International Cricket Stadium (New York), Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium (Dallas), and Broward County Stadium (Lauderhill).

Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were all given lengthy bans for their part in Australia’s ball-tampering scandal six years ago.

Captain Smith and vice-captain Warner were both handed 12-month suspensions while Bancroft, the batsman who was caught on camera attempting to change the condition of the ball using sandpaper during the third Test against South Africa, was banned for nine months.

Cricket Australia chairman David Peever said: “The CA board understands and shares the anger of fans and the broader Australian community about these events.

“They go to the integrity and reputation of Australian Cricket and Australian sport and the penalties must reflect that.

“These are significant penalties for professional players and the board does not impose them lightly. It is hoped that following a period of suspension, the players will be able to return to playing the game they love and eventually rebuild their careers.”

Smith and Bancroft gave a press conference after the third day’s play where they admitted a premeditated attempt to tamper with the ball.

Smith spoke of a “leadership group” making the decision to tamper with the ball and, in announcing the severe punishments, CA revealed Warner, 31, was charged with devising the plan, instructing a junior player – Bancroft – to carry it out and demonstrating how to do it.

Smith gave a tearful press conference on his return to Australia, saying: “I know I’ll regret this for the rest of my life, I’m absolutely gutted. I hope in time I can earn back respect and forgiveness.

“I’ve been so privileged and honoured to represent my country and captain Australia. Cricket is the greatest game in the world and it’s been my life – I hope it can be again. I’m absolutely devastated.”

Smith and Warner both returned to the Australia side at the Cricket World Cup in 2019, with the former made vice-captain of the Test side in 2021, while Bancroft played for his country again in the Ashes series the same summer.

Surrey are determined to give departing director of cricket Alec Stewart a successful send-off.

It was announced last week that Stewart would step down from his role at the end of 2024 after a decade in the post.

Stewart, 60, has overseen the development of several England internationals, alongside guiding Surrey to three County Championship titles, and a number of key figures in the team are eager to help him sign off with more silverware.

Red-ball captain Rory Burns said: “It can be an emotional driver if that is the way you are inclined.

“The way we try to operate, we look at what our process is and what we want to do day to day. It would be nice to send the gaffer out with another Championship win, but we’ve got a lot of hard work to do before that.”

England batter Ollie Pope missed the meeting at Kia Oval where Stewart, in typically modest fashion, told the group of his decision in a brief manner before he turned the focus on to trying to produce another successful campaign.

Former England wicketkeeper Stewart, who has helped care for his wife through her cancer battle since 2013, played a key role in Pope’s journey from Surrey academy graduate to vice-captain of the Test team.

“I sadly missed a meeting when he announced it to the boys, but I had a phone call with him straight after and, yeah, I felt gutted,” Pope admitted.

“I can’t imagine a club where you don’t see Stewie in every morning. I think he’s in at 6am every day on the rowing machine or on the treadmill or doing some weights, but that’s because he loves the club and loves being here.

“And he’s also ridiculous at his job as well. The way he sort of makes you feel like you’ve got a personal relationship, but he’s also got the job to give you your contracts or release you.

“I’ve got a great picture of him giving me my Surrey under-eight player-of-the-year award, which is one I’ll always have. He presented me with my England cap, again the video and the pics of that are seriously special.

“Every player in the club and every member of the coaching staff feels like they’ve just got so much to owe him because whether he sees the talent in you or sees the good person in you, he sort of brings it out.

“So he’s going to be a massive, massive loss for the club. It’s going to be sad when he leaves, but hopefully we can win a couple of trophies for him this year to give him a good send off.”

 

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Stewart brought Ben Foakes to the club from Essex in 2015.

Foakes added: “I was trying to think the other day if there is anyone that has done more for English cricket after their playing career and I couldn’t think of anyone.

“He is going to obviously be massively missed.

“It will be a huge blow for us, but he has earned his break and to switch off a bit.

“The amount he has given to the group and the club as a whole, it would be the icing on the cake and good to send him off with one (trophy).”

Maia Bouchier defied injury to hit 91 as England Women outpowered New Zealand to win the fourth T20 international in Wellington by 47 runs and clinch the series.

Bouchier’s 91 off 56 balls, her second successive half-century, helped England to 177 for three, Charlie Dean taking four wickets as New Zealand were restricted to 130 for seven.

England lost Danni Wyatt, back in the side after playing in the Women’s IPL, early but Alice Capsey and Bouchier – hampered by a quad injury – added 75 in 10 overs.

Captain Heather Knight (21 not out) and Nat Sciver-Brunt (29 not out) smashed 35 off the final 14 balls to set the hosts a daunting target.

That target was made more daunting without captain Suzie Bates, injured in the field, and England struck at regular intervals.

Dean grabbed four for 26, and Brooke Holliday was at the top scoring, with 25 for the hosts.

The win gives England an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series, which concludes in Wellington on Friday.

In a pivotal moment at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Cricket West Indies (CWI) held in Antigua on Saturday 23 March 2023, President Dr. Kishore Shallow tabled a series of resolutions aimed at implementing governance reforms recommended by the Wehby Report. However, despite extensive consultations and deliberations, some of the resolutions failed to secure the absolute majority threshold required for passage.

President Shallow expressed optimism despite the setback, stating,

"While it is disappointing that some resolutions did not find favor with majority on this occasion, I remain committed to ensuring that CWI governance structure is always at its most robust. We will return to consultation with our shareholders to sensitize and advocate further for adopting modern corporate best practices."

The resolutions tabled were derived from the Wehby Report, a comprehensive document that followed a period of significant consultations within the cricketing community. President Shallow emphasized the importance of these reforms in advancing the integrity and effectiveness of CWI.

"We have engaged in thorough consultations and discussions to formulate these resolutions, all to strengthen the governance structure of CWI," remarked President Shallow. "It is imperative that we continue our efforts to enact these reforms for the betterment of West Indies cricket."

President Shallow affirmed his resolve to fostering positive change within CWI. He echoed,

"Our effort toward improvement on all fronts continues unabated. We will engage rigorously with our stakeholders, leveraging their insights and expertise to navigate this intricate process while re-examining CWI’s governance structure."

The AGM attained a full quorum with shareholders present from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, and Windward Islands.

Harry Brook will make his competitive comeback by appearing in Yorkshire’s first five games of the county season, with fellow England batter Joe Root joining him for four.

Brook has not played since December, having withdrawn from the Test tour of India and his planned stint at the Indian Premier League following the death of his grandmother Pauline.

Yorkshire had already indicated that the 25-year-old was likely to return early in the Vitality County Championship campaign and, following discussions with the England and Wales Cricket Board, have now confirmed his schedule.

Brook is ready to feature for the White Rose throughout April and the beginning of May, starting at home to Leicestershire on April 5 and taking in fixtures against Gloucestershire, Middlesex, Derbyshire and Glamorgan.

Thereafter, he is due to link up with England for their T20 series against Pakistan and June’s T20 World Cup.

After failing to win promotion from Division Two last year, Yorkshire’s chances of making serious waves in the second tier this year are further enhanced by the presence of former Test captain Root.

Having played a full part in the two-month Test tour of India he will miss the curtain-raiser at Headingley but then links up with the side for their next four fixtures, as well as the visit to Northamptonshire on May 24.

Head coach Ottis Gibson, who needs to see some improved results following Darren Gough’s departure as director of cricket, had earlier trailed the pair’s availability, suggesting: “Having those two playing for us would be special.”

Jamaica’s female cricketers officially secured the 2024 CG United Super50 Cup and CWI T20 Blaze double with an eight wicket win over the Leeward Islands in the final round of the T20 Blaze at Warner Park on Monday.

The Jamaicans restricted the Leewards to 124-5 off their 20 overs after winning the toss and choosing to bowl.

Captain Amanda Edwards led the way with 35 off 25 balls while Divya Saxena made 26 against Chedean Nation’s 2-21.

Jamaica’s successful chase was then led by Captain Stafanie Taylor who finished 48* while Rashada Williams finished 39*.

Full Scores: Leeward Islands 124-5 off 20 overs (Amanda Edwards 35, Divya Saxena 26, Chedean Nation 2-21)

Jamaica 127-2 off 18.2 overs (Stafanie Taylor 48*, Rashada Williams 39*)

England batter Ollie Pope is “itching” to play again after reflecting on the mistakes he made during a frustrating tour of India as an individual and a team.

Pope starred in a remarkable first Test win in Hyderabad with a sparkling 196, but failed to go beyond 39 in his next eight innings and was out for a pair in Ranchi.

It was a similar story for a number of his team-mates with India able to win the final four Tests comprehensively to inflict the first series defeat of the Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum reign.

The series marked Pope’s return to action after he dislocated his right shoulder during the Ashes last summer.

While the 26-year-old spent most of the winter on the road, he was back training for Surrey on Monday and is eyeing plenty of Vitality County Championship runs before the home Test series with West Indies in July.

“Straight back into it – our choice. I feel pretty fresh,” Pope said at a sponsors event for Swiss watch brand Rado, the England and Wales Cricket Board’s official timing partner.

“Obviously I had that seven months out and leaving that India tour, if I had scored another three 70s or something, I might be feeling slightly differently but I almost feel frustrated.

“I feel like I’m in really good nick without putting together those scores, so hopefully I can go and find that rhythm of putting together big scores… at three, unless Stewie (Alec Stewart, Surrey director of cricket) drops me!

“I might miss one in that first seven or eight games, but yes, I’m itching to get back and just scoring runs and representing Surrey.”

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Dr. Kishore Shallow lauded the collective strides made by the regional cricket body over the 2022-2023 period, and also expressed delight about the prospects to come from the upcoming ICC Men's Twenty20 (T20) World Cup.

Shallows comments followed the unveiling of CWI's Annual Report and Audited Financial Statements for the fiscal year 2022-2023, after the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Antigua on Saturday, March 23.  CWI recorded revenues of US$62.3 million and net income of US$14.25 million for the year ending September 30, 2023.

“As we look back on the past year, I applaud the tremendous progress we have achieved together. The credit is yours, as through our unified efforts, we have made much progress. I am equally confident that our journey promises even greater rewards if we maintain this path," Shallow said.

He also expressed enthusiasm about the T20 World Cup, which will be jointly hosted in the Caribbean and United States, as he highlighted its potential economic impact of over US$300 million for the Caribbean.

“The excitement around hosting the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 resonates with us at Cricket West Indies. This is a remarkable opportunity for the Caribbean. CWI stands ready and well-positioned to make the region and cricket world proud of a magnificent spectacle in June," Shallow added.

Reflecting on the financial year in review, Chief Financial Officer, Kebra Nanton acknowledged the continued strengthening of CWI’s financial position.

"We are delighted to announce further significant improvements in our financial standing as we continue the transformational change in our organisation. Having successfully reversed the deficit of over US$2 million, which was over US$23 million in 2021, we now record a surplus of US$12 million.

Furthermore, our forecast for the end of 2024 anticipates our surplus exceeding US$20 million. This achievement lays a solid foundation for our sustainability over the next four years. By fortifying our financial position through increased retained earnings, we have bolstered our ability to navigate future challenges," Nanton declared.

CWI’s financials underwent rigorous auditing by Grant Thornton, Antigua.

The interactive Annual Report also includes sections on Cricket, Fan Engagement, and an Honours List showcasing accomplishments over the year.

England captain Heather Knight admits her side needed more composure after a staggering collapse handed New Zealand victory in the third T20 in Nelson.

The tourists needed just 29 from 29 balls with eight wickets in hand, seemingly cruising in their pursuit of 156, when Maia Bouchier’s dismissal triggered the loss of six wickets for 25 runs.

Knight’s side needed eight runs from the final over but Suzie Bates only conceded four as the White Ferns cut England’s lead to 2-1 in the five-match series.

“A lot of good stuff and a quite frustrating end,” Knight told TNT Sports.

“We needed to be a bit more smart and show composure at the back end.

“Maia batted outstandingly. She came out with the intent we wanted and showed her class.

“A frustrating one not to finish off but remembering we are an inexperienced group and are missing a few players. Those girls will learn a hell of a lot.”

Bouchier made 71 from just 47 balls, sharing a second-wicket stand of 93 with Tammy Beaumont to put England in control, but when the two departed to leave England 127 for three the wheels came off.

Knight, Amy Jones and Bess Heath all fell quickly, with Hollie Armitage and Charlie Dean also departing in the final over as New Zealand claimed a three-run victory.

Earlier, skipper Sophie Devine made 60 and shared a 99-run partnership with Amelia Kerr (44no) as New Zealand posted 155 for three from their 20 overs.

Armitage made her England debut as a concussion substitute after Sarah Glenn hit her head in the field and had to be replaced.

England hope to have Danni Wyatt, Alice Capsey, Sophie Ecclestone and Nat Sciver-Brunt back and available for Wednesday’s fourth match in Wellington after their participation in the Women’s Premier League.

Lucknow Super Giants fell short of their target despite valiant efforts from Nicholas Pooran and KL Rahul, resulting in a 20-run defeat against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur in their Indian Premier League encounter on Sunday.

Despite Pooran's unbeaten 64 and Rahul's composed 58, Lucknow Super Giants were unable to chase down the imposing target of 194 set by Rajasthan Royals. Sanju Samson's brilliant innings of 82 not out from 52 balls laid the foundation for Rajasthan's victory, propelling them to a commanding total of 193 for 4.

Lucknow Super Giants faced an uphill battle early in their innings as they were reduced to 11 for 3 within the first four overs, courtesy of Trent Boult and Nandre Burger's fiery spells. However, Rahul and Pooran resurrected the innings with a fifth-wicket partnership of 85 runs from 52 balls, keeping their team in the hunt.

Despite their valiant efforts, Lucknow Super Giants found themselves needing 38 runs from the final two overs. Sandeep Sharma's tight bowling in the penultimate over restricted Pooran's big-hitting, leaving too much for Lucknow to achieve in the final over. Avesh Khan closed out the contest comfortably for Rajasthan Royals, sealing their victory.

Sanju Samson's exceptional knock for Rajasthan Royals was the standout performance of the match, anchoring their innings with a blend of finesse and power. His unbeaten 82 provided the necessary impetus for Rajasthan's formidable total, setting the stage for their bowlers to defend the target.

Despite the loss, KL Rahul's return from injury showcased his class and resilience, offering a glimmer of hope for Lucknow Super Giants. His innings of 58 played a crucial role in keeping his team's chase alive, but ultimately, they fell short of the target set by Rajasthan Royals.

Nicholas Pooran's unbeaten 64 was another highlight for Lucknow Super Giants, as he displayed his ability to accelerate the scoring rate under pressure. However, his efforts were in vain as Lucknow Super Giants succumbed to Rajasthan Royals' bowling attack.

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