Sat | Jun 3, 2023

Pooran happy to repay investment after seeing LSG into playoffs

Published:Monday | May 22, 2023 | 3:08 AM
 Nicholas Pooran.
Nicholas Pooran.

KOLKATA, India (CMC) – Nicholas Pooran said Saturday he was happy to repay the investment Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) had made in him, after helping the franchise through to the playoffs of the Indian Premier League.

The left-hander top-scored with a Man-of-the-Match 58 on Saturday as Super Giants pulled off a narrow one-run victory over Andre Russell and Sunil Narine’s Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens.

With Super Giants stumbling at 73 for five at the start of the 11th over, Pooran arrived at number seven to blast four fours and five sixes in a 30-ball knock, before perishing in the penultimate over with victory already in sight.

“I knew I had to go as deep as possible. I know once the spinners are bowling they’ll give me bad balls and it’s a really small venue, as well so I was hoping to capitalise. But I just tried to go as deep as I [could],” said the former West Indies captain, picked up a year ago in the IPL draft by Super Giants for nearly US$2 million.

“I’ve been batting pretty decently throughout the tournament. I [feel] like when you’re batting well you obviously need to take advantage of it, and tonight was a must-win game for us and I thrive on moments like this.

“Obviously the team has invested a lot in me and I’m happy to repay them by being there for the team at the end of the day.”

Pooran batted in partnership with Ayush Badoni (25), putting on 74 for the sixth wicket to guide Super Giants up to 176 for eight off their 20 overs.

In reply, KKR slumped to 136 for seven at the end of the 18th over before Rinku Singh’s unbeaten 67 off 33 balls, made the game close in the end.

“Ayush and myself had a partnership against Chennai in Lucknow [before] and it was similar to this,” Pooran said.

“He got fifty-something and I was just telling him [this time around] we need to go deep as possible and pick our moments. At that moment [of the game], that partnership was obviously crucial.

“I felt like I was a couple balls short in the end there from getting 190 [but] we’ll take that score anyday.”

The victory helped Super Giants secure the third playoff spot, ending their 14-game league campaign on 17 points, which was enough for third place in the standings.

“It means a lot. We [wanted] to qualify. We know what type of season we had – an up-and-down season – but it’s nice to win the last three games,” said the 27-year-old Trinidadian.

“But what’s really impressive is our bowlers are standing up to the challenge.

“In the last two games they were phenomenal. We have a young bowling attack and to come to Eden Gardens and defend that total is big kudos for the boys.”