“We’ve seen this finishing from MS Dhoni, Stoinis, Pollard…but he’s very different” – Suresh Raina lauds Nicholas Pooran

The 15th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 saw a good match between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and the KL Rahul-led Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Monday, April 10.

Nicholas Pooran scored 62 runs off 19 balls as Lucknow Super Giants chased down the target of 213 runs against Royal Challengers Bangalore on the last ball of the match. LSG won the game by one wicket. Marus Stoinis also helped the team’s cause with a fine knock of 65 off 30 balls.

Chasing a 213, LSG got off to a good start, losing Kyle Mayers for 0 in the first over. Wayne Parnell then removed Deepak Hooda and Krunal Pandya in the fourth over to push Lucknow further behind in the contest.

However, Marcus Stoinis along with skipper Rahul then stitched a perfect rescue work, adding 76 runs for the third wicket, before Karn Sharma (Impact Substitute) removed the Aussie for 65(30).

Rahul then returned to the pavilion in the next over but what happened next put the match entirely into LSG’s favor. Nicholas Pooran along with Impact Substitute Ayush Badoni added 84 runs for the sixth wicket in 35 balls, before Mohammed Siraj dismissed Pooran for 62 off 19 balls.

Badoni was removed in the 19th over for 30(24) as RCB took the match to the final ball of the contest. With five required in the final over, Harshal Patel removed two batters and had a chance to push the match into the Super Overs with the final LSG pair batting in the middle.

However, he failed to inflict a run-out at the non-striker’s end in the final ball, following which Dinesh Karthik fumbled behind the stumps as Ravi Bishnoi along with Avesh Khan got LSG home.

Earlier, Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis gave RCB a solid platform as the pair added 96 for the opening wicket after being invited to bat. Amit Mishra broke the partnership by getting rid of Kohli for 61(44) in the 12th over. Maxwell then joined his skipper and added 115 runs in just 50 balls for the second wicket. Maxwell was cleaned up by Mark Wood for 59(29) in the final over, while Du Plessis returned unbeaten on 79(46).

Former West Indies white ball captain Nicholas Pooran played a sensational knock, scoring the fastest half-century of the IPL 2023 so far (15 balls). The 27-year-old amassed 62 runs in just 19 deliveries, which ultimately led Lucknow to a win by one wicket.

After his sensational knock, former Indian cricketer Suresh Raina came forward to heap praise on the star keeper-batter’s performance.

“He is a dangerous batter. We’ve seen this finishing from MS Dhoni, Stoinis, Mitchell Marsh, Kieron Pollard, and Hardik Pandya, but he’s very different. To score a 50 off 15 balls for the fastest 50 of the season, especially at the time he did it.”

Raina opined that Pooran’s knock is what ultimately won Lucknow the game and required a lot of belief and positivity. The former CSK star went on to emphasize the importance of the 27-year-old’s performance.

“Even bigger than the 50 off 15 balls, Pooran got the win for his team. To win a match from that position, there must be a lot of positivity and belief that he can win matches at any time. The way he hit the ball around the ground, it was a spectacular innings,” Raina said.

Apart from Pooran, impact players Ayush Badoni and Marcus Stoinis were exceptional during the run-chase as well, and when all seemed lost, Pooran and the others showed resilience and chased the target down, making the game one of the all-time classics.

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