Captain KL Rahul smashed his first fifty of this IPL season, but Punjab Kings roared back with timely wickets to restrict his side Lucknow Super Kings to a modest 159 for eight in Lucknow on Saturday. (More Cricket News) | (Scorecard)
On a two-paced wicket, Rahul displayed great composure and skills en route his 56-ball 74 as he added 53 and 48 runs with Kyle Mayers (29) and Krunal Pandya (18) for the first and third wickets respectively.
The 30-year-old from Bangalore also became the fastest batter to reach to 4000 runs in the IPL, achieving the feat in his 105th innings, surpassing West Indies' Chris Gayle (112 innings).
However, LSG couldn't finish things with a flourish as they lost four wickets for 48 runs in the last five overs.
Invited to bat, Rahul and Mayers provided LSG a flying start with the burly left-handed West Indian being the aggressor initially.
While Rahul dealt in boundaries, scoring three fours, Mayers dealt in maximums.
Mayers blasted Mathew Short over deep backward square leg and followed it up with a backward punch for another six over covers off Sam Curran.
South African pacer Kagiso Rabada was then deposited into the stands with ease as LSG raced away to 40 for no loss in the powerplay.
With the pitch offering a bit of grip and turn, Sam Curran, who led PBKS in place of an injured Shikhar Dhawan, brought in the spinners.
Left-arm tweaker Harpreet Brar soon removed the dangerous-looking Mayers, who was holed out to deep backward square leg in the eighth over, while Sikandar Raza trapped Deepak Hooda (2) as LSG slipped to 62 for 2.
Rahul then combined with Pandya to take LSG past the 100-mark before Rabada returned to dismiss the latter in the 15th over.
Two balls later, the star of the last match Nicholas Pooran too fell while looking for a big hit with Shahrukh Khan taking the catch.
Marcus Stoinis, however, got going from the start, slamming Rahul Chahar for back-to-back sixes, while Rahul then cut Rabada for a maximum over deep point as LSG reached 138 for 4 in 17 overs.
However, the hosts didn't get the final push as Curran earned the wicket of Stoinis after winning a video referral following a faint nick off the batter's gloves.
Arshdeep Singh then struck with his knuckle ball, removing Rahul, who was holed out at long-on, while Shahrukh Khan once again picked up a well-judged catch to get rid of Yudhvir Singh.