IPL: A Supergiant show: Lucknow’s aggressive batting floors Punjab Kings

Synopsis: Lucknow’s supergiants-size show of aggression leaves Punjab Kings powerless on home turf, despite Taide’s surge

Once Lucknow Supergiants ransacked 257 for 5—the second-highest score ever in the league—it required the greatest chase in the history of the league for Punjab Kings to grab points. They fought and clung on, but a miracle inevitably eluded them, as they fell 56 runs adrift on a day bowlers from both sides would loathe revisiting (only twice has more runs been scored in a single game in the IPL).

Aggression, supergiants-size

Only once has a team in the league surpassed 250 in an innings before Supergiants did—a magic shore of sorts. That was when Chris Gayle peeled off 175 off merely 66 balls. No Supergiants batsman scored half as many runs, but the collective destruction was as relentless as it was ruthless, so ceaseless that after a point it looked cruel on Kings’ bowlers.

The IPL misses Gayle, both the batsman and the personality. But Kyle Mayers is putting on a show that’s reminiscent of the in-pomp Jamaican. They are both of different builds, Mayers is stockier and Gayle taller. Gayle’s Rasta locks flowed beyond his shoulders; Mayers’s is just hugging the shoulder.

Their similarities, though, are compelling. Like Gayle, Mayers is fearless and nonchalant that he could ferry most balls beyond the ropes. He struck four ferocious ones, Caribbean patented ones in the bat-speed and flourish, that set the tone and tempo for Supergiants. The thumping six off Rabada could become an enduring image of this edition. He stormed down the track to one of the most hostile bowlers in the world and lifted him over long-on with the ease of slicing a loaf of buttered bread. An attempted encore a few balls later ended his 24-ball 54.

If Kings assumed that his departure would bring respite and a crack of hope back into the game, they were mistaken. The fledgling Ayush Badoni and the bludgeoning Marcus Stoinis maintained the searing momentum with a thrilling alignment of powerful and deft stroke-making that shattered the morale and composure of Punjab’s bowlers. No one was spared the humiliation. On a luckier day, debutant Gurnoor Brar would have nailed KL Rahul with his first ball of the day. Instead, an imbalanced Atharva Taide dropped the thickish outside edge at backward point. He ended up bleeding 42 runs in three overs, before Prabhsimran Singh replaced him as Impact Player as early as the ninth over, soon after Badoni and Stoinis rummaged 24 runs from his last over.

The barrel-chested Stoinis would flick and pull with disdain, but he would unpack gloriously-timed strokes with equal ease, like when he guided a good-length ball from Sam Curran between the wicketkeeper and the short third man, by twirling his wrists at the last moment.

Shorter and slimmer, Badoni has strength that belies his physique and disarming smile. Feeding off the true bounce the surface offered, he pulled Curran on the front foot for a six, before he swept Liam Livingstone for another six. His sophistry screamed when he bisected a slim gap between backward point and third man for a four off Chahar with nothing but a casual tap. Together, they plundered 89 runs in 7.4 overs, but the departure of Badoni for 43 off 24 balls was not to end Lucknow’s carnage.

It only got more violent. Enter Nicholas Pooran, who has shed the inhibitions that had marred his previous seasons. The Bajan began with three boundaries on the spin, and rattled out 45 runs from 19 balls. Rereading the scorecard would be a painful exercise for Kings’ bowlers— six of the seven bowlers leaked 12 runs or more an over (Chahar’s 7.25 looks princely); 27 fours and 14 sixes were struck, that is one in every third ball was a four or six. As vibrant as the Supergiants’ collective aggression was, it was also proof of Kings’ ineptness in a season that is swiftly unravelling.

Taide’s surge

The only reason Kings avoided total humiliation was thanks to Atharva Taide’s heroics. He joins the band of rising stars on the IPL horizon. The Kings had a horror start, losing talisman and captain Shikhar Dhawan in the fifth ball of the first over. Soon, they lost Prabhsimran as well, but Taide remained unperturbed amidst the chaos. Playing just his fourth match of the league, he heaved the second ball he faced, off Marcus Stoinis, for a six.

More sixes and four flew and flowed off his blade—he tallied eight fours and two sixes. The same Stoinis over, he smeared the Australian for two more boundaries. But it was not so much about his scoring rate as it was about his scoring shots. He struck some most audacious ones—reverse sweeps and scoops, uppercuts and front-foot pulls—and piled fleeting moments of agony in the Supergiants dugout. But Ravi Bishnoi athletic caught and bowled nipped his knock from blossoming into a headache. His departure ended the last lingering hopes of a miracle for the Kings, but on the rosier side, they have unearthed a genuine batting talent that could help them give one final knockout push.


  • Adam Gray

    Adam Gray is an experienced journalist with a passion for breaking news and delivering it to the masses. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has covered everything from local stories to national events, earning a reputation for his accuracy, reliability, and attention to detail. As a reporter, Adam is always on the lookout for the next big story, and his dedication to uncovering the truth has earned him the respect of his peers and readers alike. When he's not chasing down leads, Adam can be found poring over the latest headlines, always on the lookout for the next big scoop. Contact [email protected]

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