Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn smashed unbeaten half-centuries as former IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders thrashed Gujarat Lions by 10 wickets to make a rousing start to their campaign at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Friday. (Highlights)
After winning the toss and asking Gujarat Lions in to bat, skipper Gambhir and the KKR camp might have been worried a lot as Lions’ skipper Suresh Raina, Brendon McCullum and Dinesh Karthik helped the hosts pile up 183.(Scorecard)
However, what seemed a formidable total soon ended up looking like a below par one as Lynn and Gambhir toyed with the Gujarat Lions bowling, putting on 73 runs in the six powerplay overs. The duo continued the carnage as they smashed records at will and raced to their individual half-centuries. While Gambhir paced his innings well with 12 boundaries to lead from the front, Lynn’s brute power and clean-hitting dismantled every single strategy Raina might have had in his mind.
This was only the third time in 87 T20s that Lynn had opened the innings, and the Australian didn’t disappoint. While he tormented almost every bowler he faced, he had reserved his best for Dwayne Smith, who he smashed for 23 runs in the seventh over to reach his half-century in just 19 balls.
He was dropped twice in the 15th over off successive deliveries, but the fate of the match was sealed by then. Lynn struck eight sixes and six boundaries in his 41-ball knock.
This was the highest total chased down in T20 cricket with a side having all wickets in hand. This was also KKR’s highest stand for any wicket in the Indian Premier League.
Earlier, Gujarat Lions rode on the brilliance of captain Suresh Raina as they put up 183/4 in their pursuit for a third straight win over the Knights. There was a boundary in every over till the ninth before chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav managed to get rid of McCullum, but the damage was already done by then. His 24-ball 35 coupled with Raina’s steady 68 was instrumental before Dinesh Karthik scored a brilliant 25-ball 47 coming lower down the order.