Dinesh Karthik's knock changed the game: Gautam Gambhir

Dinesh Karthik's knock changed the game: Gautam Gambhir

Dinesh Karthik Gautam Gambhir
Dinesh Karthik. (Photo Source: BCCI)
Gujarat Lions finally put a halt to their losing streak after they beat the Gautam Gambhir-led Kolkata Knight Riders by 5 wickets at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Kartik (51 from 29 balls) played the match –winning knock today to help Lions chase down the target of 159 runs put up by KKR.

The home side, batting first, had a dismal start to the match as they lost 4 quick wickets in no time. However, Shakib Al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan then forged together and piled on a record 105 runs 5th wicket stand to propel KKR to a defendable total of 158/4 after 20 overs.

In reply, Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum began pretty well with a 42 run opening wicket stand before departing. Skipper Suresh Raina could not do anything significant today and was dismissed cheaply. But, Kartik took the responsibility of the chase and anchored the innings pretty well to keep KKR on the course of a win. Aaron Finch (10 balls 29 runs) played a blistering cameo to finish off things quickly than anticipated. Eventually, Gujarat overhauled the target in 18 overs with five-wicket in hand.

Winning skipper Suresh Raina credited the whole team for the victory in KKR’s fortress today. Raina said: “It was a very crucial game. Games in Kolkata are always special. Credit goes to our bowlers, they took those crucial wickets (which was lacking earlier) and again Baz and Smith gave us a good partnership. When you have too many options, you get confused. You always back your best bowler to bowl in the final overs. When Yusuf was batting, I thought I will give one over to Shivil and then to Tambe. I got a bit confused. DK and PK, they really bowl well in the death overs. He (Bravo) is our best death bowler and he has done really well. But with the way Yusuf and Shakib were going, it’s always going to be tough. I think KKR is a very difficult team to beat and the way things have gone today, I’m very happy with the team tonight. When Finch is there in the middle, you always have license in that 7-8 overs and that’s what I said to the coach. Sending him down the order really paid off. I’m flying to Holland to meet my wife tomorrow and I’m all excited.”

Gautam Gambhir appreciated his opposition all-round display. Gautam Gambhir said: “The way Shakib and Yusuf batted was brilliant. Lot of credit must go to PK with the way he swung the ball. They restricted us to an average score. We have been batting really well but as I said, losing 3-4 wickets inside 6 overs won’t help. We have been looking forward for the contribution from the middle order and that’s what they did today. Shakib is a quality bowler and they were swinging at everything that was thrown at them. DK played a very good knock and that’s what changed the game.”

Praveen Kumar, for his important 2/19, was adjudged as Man of the Match.’ Praveen Kumar said: “We had plans for the batsmen and glad we executed our plans. I was confident about my bowling. I’m happy the way I’m swinging the ball. It’s going all well at the moment.”

Also, read – IPL 9 Match 39 Preview – Struggling teams aim survival