Rajasthan Royals recorded a thrilling last-over win against Lucknow Super Ginats in their opening IPL 2024 game on Sunday, March 24. Captain Sanju Smason led by example by smashing 82 runs and then Trent Boult and Sandeep Sharma shone with a ball to help the Royals post a 20-run win.

The Royals handed a debut to trade signing Avesh Khan in their playing XI and then substituted Nadre Burger in the second innings. Lucknow Super Giants also included Devdutt Padikkal in their starting eleven for the first time leaving out new players Shamar Joseph, Shivam Mavi, and Ashton Turner on the sidelines.

KL Rahul donned the wicketkeeping gloves ahead of Quinton de Kock and Nicholas Pooran and then took a sensational catch to dismiss Jos Buttler on Naveen-ul-Haq's delivery in the second over. Yashasvi Jaiswal also walked out after scoring a quick 24 runs off 12 balls in the powerplay.

But a sensational 93-run stand between Samson and promoted Riyan Parag for the third wicket put Rajasthan on a track for a big total. Riyan missed his fifty by seven runs but Sanju managed to remain unbeaten on 82 runs of just 52 balls. Dhruv Jurel also contributed with 20* runs as the Royals posted 193/4 in 20 overs.

Rajasthan Royals also enjoyed a sensational start with a ball with Trent Boult dismissing de Kock in

the first over and then Padikkal in the third over. Burger also made an instant impact on his debut by clinching Ayush Badoni's wicket in the fourth over and left LSG crumbling to 11/3.

Deepak Hooda walked in as a substitute and smashed 26 off just 14 balls to get Lucknow past 50. But it was an 85-run stand for the fifth wicket between KL Rahul and Pooran that put LSG in the driving seat. Rahul scored 58 runs off 44 balls before losing his wicket to Sandeep Sharma in the 17th over. 

Ravichandran Ashwin and Avesh Khan also bowled greedy spells in the death overs as Nicholas Poorans struggled for big shots to close the gap. Avesh conceded just six runs in the last over to help Rajasthan record a 20-run win. Tow points boosted Rajasthan Royals to the top of the points table while Lucknow slipped to eighth position.

Rajasthan Royals Playing XI: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Riyan Parag, Shimron Hetmyer (substituted by Nandre Burger), Dhruv Jurel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Sandeep Sharma, Avesh Khan, Trent Boult, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Lucknow Super Giants Playing XI: KL Rahul (c & wk), Quinton de Kock, Devdutt Padikkal, Ayush Badoni, Marcus Stoinis, Nicholas Pooran, Krunal Pandya, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohsin Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Yash Thakur (substituted by Deepak Hooda).
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