Stoinis shines as Lucknow Super Giants blaze to highest IPL team score since Gayle blitz
Marcus Stoinis led the way as Lucknow Super Giants posted the highest team score for a decade in the IPL in a resounding victory over Punjab Kings.
Lucknow amassed 257-5 – a total that has been bettered only once in the competition, when Royal Challengers Bangalore totted up 263-5 against Pune Warriors on April 23, 2013, thanks to a record 175no from Chris Gayle that contained 17 sixes.
Ten years and five days on from that mighty effort from RCB and Gayle, Lucknow made sure their own impressive efforts did not go to waste as they bowled out Punjab for 201 to seal a 56-run win.
Stoinis clattered five sixes in his 72 from 40 balls, with Kyle Mayers (54), Ayush Badoni (43) and Nicholas Pooran (45) also scoring at a impressively rapid lick.
It was then Stoinis the bowler who removed Punjab captain Shikhar Dhawan in the first over of the reply, having him caught just inside the ropes.
The home side had no option but to go flat out for fast runs, but they lost Dhawan's fellow opener Prabhsimran Singh in the fourth over too.
Stoinis hurt his left index finger while fielding his own bowling and was taken out of the attack, saying after the match ended: "It's all right; it's been better. It is what it is and we'll get it scanned later."
Atharva Taide and Sikandar Raza looked to up the tempo of the Punjab reply, but the required run rate was up to around 17 an over by the midway point of the innings, the contest already all but over.
Raza fell for 36 from 22 balls, and Taide went for 66 from 36 when a top edge allowed Ravi Bishnoi to take an awkward return catch.
Yash Thakur removed Raza and then snatched three lower-order wickets as the batting became haphazard, finishing with figures of 4-37, while Naveen-ul-Haq weighed in with 3-30.
Bittersweet day for super Stoinis
His form has been patchy in this IPL campaign, but this game saw Stoinis make his mark, so it was cruel he should also suffer an injury blow. In seven previous innings this season, he had passed 21 runs only once, making 65 against RCB, and once he got going again the Punjab crowd witnessed another fine performance.
Stoinis appeared for the post-match presentation with his sore fingered bandaged, but he spoke with satisfaction about his batting effort, saying Lucknow had been determined to "cash in and take advantage of this beautiful batting wicket, so it was good fun".
This game's total of 458 runs made it the match with the third-highest combined tally in IPL history. It has been beaten only by the 469 runs produced by Chennai Super Kings versus Rajasthan Royals in April 2019, and the 459 between Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders in May 2018.