MUMBAI, India – West Indies batting star Evin Lewis pulled off a stunning one-handed catch in a nerve-jangling final over as Lucknow Super Giants eliminated Andre Russell’s Kolkata Knight Riders from playoff contention, with a tense three-run victory on Wednesday.
Needing 211 at the DY Patil Sports Academy to complete the highest-ever run chase in their history, KKR came up just short, ending on 208 for eight off their 20 overs.
They required 21 from the final over and when Rinku Singh (40) smashed a four and a couple of sixes from the first three deliveries before pinching a couple off the fourth, KKR were in the hunt with just three runs needed from the last two balls.
However, the turning point came when Rinku skied the fifth delivery from seamer Marcus Stoinis (3-23) into the off-side and Lewis darted around from backward point to forward square to snare the catch in a desperate, sprawling dive.
New batsman Umesh Yadav then muffed the opportunity to become the hero, yorked next ball by Stoinis to leave KKR frustratingly short of their target.
Rinku, who blasted two fours and four sixes in a 15-ball cameo, put on 58 for the seventh wicket with West Indies all-rounder Sunil Narine who finished unbeaten on 21 off just seven balls with three sixes.
The pair pulled a floundering run chase around from 150 for six in the 17th over and took KKR to the brink of victory.
Earlier, South African Quinton de Kock belted an astonishing unbeaten 140 off 70 deliveries, dominating an opening stand with captain KL Rahul (68 not out) as Super Giants stormed to 210 without loss off their 20 overs.
The left-handed de Kock counted 10 fours and 10 sixes while Rahul hit three fours and four sixes in a 51-ball knock.
Narine finished wicket-less from four overs of off-spin which cost 27 runs while medium fast Russell sent down three overs for 45 runs also without success.
In reply, KKR found themselves slumping at nine for two in the third over before Shreyas Iyer (50) put on 56 for the third wicket with Nitish Rana (42) and a further 66 for the fourth with Englishman Sam Billings (36).
When Billings perished in the 16th over, KKR were still only 142 for five and Russell’s demise in the next over – holing out to long off off left-arm seamer Mohsin Khan (3-20) – further hurt their chances.
KKR finished their complement of 14 matches in sixth place on 12 points while Super Giants took sole possession of second place on 18 points, two behind leaders Gujarat Titans who have one game remaining.
LINK ORIGINAL: The Trinidad Guardian