Gujarat Lions outplayed Kolkata Knight Riders in all departments of the game at Eden Gardens, as the visitors emerged victorious by five wickets on Sunday. This victory has helped Gujarat Lions top IPL table, with 14 points.
After an impressive bowling performance from Gujarat Lions bowlers, their batsmen also played well to chase down KKR's score of 158 runs with two overs to spare.
Gujarat Lions openers â€“ Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum â€“ played brilliant shots early on, scoring runs in boundaries. Smith was the dominant partner as the West Indian scored 18-ball 27. Gujarat Lions were well on course for a win, scoring 46 runs in the first six overs, with one wicket down.
Though McCullum was out in the eighth over, Dinesh Karthik was playing his shots freely, hitting boundaries all around the ground. Karthik did not play rash shots, but genuine cricket shots for fours. Raina, on the other hand, was scoring runs in singles, but lost his wicket while playing the pull shot in the 14th over.
The Lions were just 40 odd runs away from the target, and it was just a matter of time for them to win the match, with Karthik in top form. Aaron Finch, who walked into bat at number five, made his intentions clear, starting with a four, two and six in his first three balls, inching close to the target.
Karthik was unfortunate to lose his wicket after scoring 51 runs, but his innings played a key role in chasing the target in 18 overs.
Earlier, KKR suffered a worst possible start, losing Gautam Gambhir in the third over of the game. Gujarat Lions must have been pleased with the left-hander's dismissal, and their joy multiplied as KKR lost four wickets for 24 runs.
Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey and Suryakumar Yadav were back in the dugout. There was a serious need for Shakib Al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan to deliver if the KKR were to have a decent total on the board.
The duo played catiously in the middle overs, but they did hit those important boundaries when required. After Shakib and Pathan got their eye in, they took the attack to Gujarat Lions bolwers, and hit them for massive runs in the final six overs of the game.
Shakib scored 49-ball 66, which comprised four fours and four sixes, while Pathan scored 63 from 41 balls, and hit seven fours and one six. It was due to the efforts of Shakib and Pathan, KKR scored 158 runs in their allotted 20 overs.
However, their poor start hit them hard as Gujarat Lions chased down the score with relative ease in the second innings.