IPL 2017: Gambhir, Lynn star as KKR crush Gujarat by 10 wicketsApril 8, 2017
NEW DELHI: Kolkata Knight Riders began their Indian Premier League 2017 campaign in a blazing fashion, hunting down a target of 184 runs in 14.5 overs to record a 10-wicket win against Gujarat Lions in Rajkot on Friday.
Put in to bat by KKR captain Gautam Gambhir, Gujarat posted a competitive 183/4 thanks to an unbeaten half-century from captain Suresh Raina and a handy 47 from Dinesh Karthik. But what happened next wasn’t something Suresh Raina and his team would have expected. Chris Lynn (93*) and Gambhir (76*) made a mockery of Gujarat’s bowler and barring Parveen Kumar, none escaped their wrath. Together they broke the record for the highest successful chase in T20s without losing a wicket.
Sample this: Dhawal Kulkarni gave 42 in 2.5 overs, Shadab Jakati went for 30 in his three, Shivil Kaushik, the only Gujarat bowler to bowl four overs, leaked 40 runs, Manpreet Gony conceded 32 in his two overs and Dwayne Smith only bowled six deliveries but was looted for 23 runs. Praveen was the only bowler to return respectable figures – 0/13 from two overs. This is enough to give an idea of the imperious touch the KKR batsmen found themselves in their IPL opener.
Here we look at the major talking point from the match:
Gujarat begin solidly but lose debutant Roy
A new opening pair in McCullum and Jason Roy began the proceedings for Gujarat Lions. Facing Boult in the first over, Roy struck two fours – the first one a straight drive and the next a cut past point region. Piyush Chawla shared the new ball and was immediately hit for a four by Roy, via a reverse sweep. Gambhir then slotted Sunil Narine from the other end as well replacing Boult after just one over. But it was Chawla who drew the first blood, a half-tracker that Roy failed to put away, managing a leading edge to be caught at square leg for 14. McCullum then smacked Chawla for a six in the same over and then collected two fours off Narine in the next to take Gujarat to 40/1 in five overs.
Raina, Karthik build a steady stand
After the fall of their third wicket (Brendon McCullum), Raina and Karthik proceeded steadily without taking any risk. They kept the run-rate at over eight per over. Although boundaries dried up since the departure of Aaron Finch, the good thing for the home team was that they had wickets. Gambhir brought back Boult for another one-over spell and Raina managed to pull him for a four behind the square region. He later went on to pull off an incredible, acrobatic save near the rope, saving a certain boundary. The 15th over proved to be a fruitful one for Gujarat – Karthik struck his second four in it with Sunil Narine giving away five singles as well. Before Karthik fell in the final over, he had stitched an 87-run stand with Raina for the fourth wicket.
That Raina finished unbeaten was thanks largely to the KKR fielders who failed to hold on to three chances that the Gujarat skipper offered them. The first one came in the sixth over when Raina pulled Waokes towards mid-on and Kuldeep ran backwards and got hold of the ball only to spill it, a difficult chance though but chance nevertheless. Raina was on 12 then. The second chance came in the 16th over and again the culprit was Kuldeep who had a brain-freeze moment when he did not take off the bails with Karthik yet to reach the crease at the bowler’s end. To make matters worse, Raina was halfway down the track simultaneously and Kuldeep, to the surprise of everyone and especially to Robin Uthappa who let out a loud scream, didn’t make the throw that could have easily ended Raina’s innings. There was more frustration in store for Gambhir with Yusuf dropping a regulation catch at deep midwicket in the following over.
Gujarat Lions set KKR a competitive target
Barring the 16th over, bowled by Kuldeep that went for just five runs, the final five saw KKR bowlers being milked for easy fours. Karthik began the assault with a six off Chawla after Yusuf Pathan dropped a regulation catch near the boundary of Raina. Boult returned for his third over, and Raina and Karthik struck a four each. Woakes was then given the task to bowl the penultimate over and it turned out to be another cash cow for the Gujarat pair – Karthik hitting a six over long-on and following it with a four over backward point. Raina then finished off with a four through square – 16 from the over. In the final over, Boult wasn’t spared either, with Karthik scoring successive fours and then holing out to long-on to depart for 47. In a similar fashion to the penultimate over, Raina rounded off with a four, through square to take his team to a competitive total and remain unbeaten on 68.
Lynn, Gambhir silence Rajkot
Lynn and Gambhir left Gujarat Lions dazed in a stunning assault. Between them, they collected 18 fours and eight sixes. Such was their form that Raina employed five different bowlers within the first seven overs. The KKR openers took just one over before unleashing themselves on a hapless attack. Nobody escaped their wrath barring Parveen. Rest was left battered and bruised. In their previous two meetings, Gujarat had recorded two comfortable wins. On Friday, KKR recorded their first against Gujarat in a thoroughly entertaining one-sided victory. Gambhir and Lynn struck half-centuries apiece with the latter equalling the record for the second-fastest to 50 runs for KKR.