Kyle Mayers made a grand entry on IPL stage with a scintillating 38-ball-73 to lead Lucknow Super Giants to an imposing 193/6 against Delhi Capitals in their season-opener in Lucknow on Saturday.
The left-hander from Barbados, who was included in absence of South African opener Quinton De Kock, made Capitals pay a heavy price for dropping him on 14, by blazing his way to a 28-ball fifty as his knock had as many as seven sixes.
Deepak Hooda (17, 18b) at the other end was a mere spectator to Mayers’ fury as they stitched 79 runs in 42 balls to accelerate the run-rate in the middle overs.
The duo departed in the space of one ball, while Marcus Stoinis (12) got out cheaply in the middle overs.
But LSG maintained the momentum with Nicholas Pooran (36; 21b) and Krunal Pandya (15 not out; 13b) taking the charge, before Ayush Badoni’s mini assault (18; 7b, 1×4, 2×6) and a last ball six from ‘Impact Substitute’ Krishnappa Gowtham yielded 22 runs from the 20th over bowled by Chetan Sakariya (2/53).
The last five overs produced 66 runs, primarily due to Pooran and Badoni using long handles to good effect.
Playing their first-ever home game since joining IPL last year, LSG were in a spot of bother with DC bowlers making full use of the two-paced tricky Ekana wicket after opting to bowl.
It took LSG openers, KL Rahul and Mayers, 16 balls to get going and hit their first boundary.
They were reduced to 19/1 inside four overs when left-arm pacer Sakariya prolonged Rahul’s lean patch by dismissing the Indian opener with a slower one. It was Sakariya’s third dismissal of Rahul in four IPL match-ups.
But things soon tilted in the home team’s favour after Khaleel Ahmed grassed a sitter off Mayers in the last over the Powerplay.
Mayers unleashed his fury against debutant Mukesh Kumar, crunching him for two massive sixes in the very next over.
There was no stopping Mayers as he continued his assault on their frontline spinners Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav in his knock studded with seven sixes and two fours.
Patel, however, had the last laugh when he cleaned up Mayers with a ball that turned almost square from an imaginary fifth stump line.
Thereafter, it was his West Indies teammate Nicholas Pooran who seized the momentum in his 21-ball 36 (2X4, 3X6) as he along with Krunal Pandya kept the run flow.
Delhi were also let down by their ground fielding. For them, Khaleel was the pick of the bowlers as he made a fine comeback from injury to return 2/30 with wickets of Stoinis and Pooran, latter caught smartly by Prithvi Shaw.