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IPL 10, Match 3, Gujarat Lions v Kolkata Knight Riders – 5 Tracking Points

Chris Lynn and Gautam Gambhir blew away Gujarat Lions at Rajkot.

Chris Lynn & Gautam Gambhir
Chris Lynn & Gautam Gambhir. (Photo Source: BCCI)

It was the battle of equals when Gujarat Lions took on the Kolkata Knight Riders at their home venue at the SCA Stadium at Rajkot. The Gujarat Lions had an impressive record against the KKR as they had won both their previous matches against the same opposition last year. Hence, they definitely had the upper hand going in to the match. Having said that, there was a point that Knight Riders were very aware of. Being two time champions, they backed themselves to come good in the match.

Coming to the match, Kolkata Knight Riders won the toss and opted to bowl first. The Lions sprung a surprise by playing all their four overseas batsmen. Jason Roy and Brendon McCullum started off on a high note but none could convert their starts. Skipper Suresh Raina hit an unbeaten 68 off 51 balls to see the Lions post a decent 183/4 in their 20 overs. He was well supported by Dinesh Karthik who scored 25-ball 47.

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In the run chase, the Knights were totally on a rampage. It was surprising to see Chris Lynn open the innings with Gautam Gambhir. This was despite the fact that the opening duo of Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir had been very successful for them in the previous editions of the IPL. In the run chase, all that it took for the Knight Riders was their opening duo. Chris Lynn and Gautam Gambhir shared an unbeaten 184 run stand for the opening wicket to win by 10 wickets.

Here are 5 Tracking Points of the GLvKKR match:

1. Gujarat Lions start off on a high – Play all four overseas batsmen

The match was full of surprises. The very first one was given by the Gujarat Lions skipper Suresh Raina. At the toss, he announced that they are playing with all their four overseas batsmen. They drafted in Jason Roy, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith and Aaron Finch – all established openers at the international level. Jason Roy and Brendon McCullum opened the innings for the Lions and got off to a flying start.

Roy, in particular, was exceptional with the start as he smashed 3 boundaries first up. A top edge followed that saw him being caught by Yusuf Pathan off the bowling of Piyush Chawla on 14. McCullum went on to score 35 off 24 balls with 4 fours and 2 sixes before getting dismissed in in the 9th over.

2. Suresh Raina plays the captain’s knock

Coming in to the match, a lot of eyes were glued to the Lions skipper Suresh Raina. Raina has been one of the pillar stone of Indian cricket in the limited overs. However, in the recent times, he has been out of the international setup for the Indian team. Also, he was not even handed a central contract by the BCCI this year. Hence, he was under tremendous pressure to perform coming to IPL 2017.

He responded in terrific fashion by top scoring for his side in the first match of the season. He came in to bat in the 4th over when Jason Roy was dismissed. He carried his bat through the innings and finished with an unbeaten 68 off 51 balls with 7 fours to his name. He looked in great touch and his efforts saw the Gujarat Lions post 183/4 in their 20 overs.

3. Dinesh Karthik strikes gold with the bat

A score of 183 looked daunting at the onset. There was a lot of hardwork and some serious batting needed by the Lions to reach there. They were guided along the way by skipper Suresh Raina. However, the much needed acceleration was provided by veteran Indian player Dinesh Karthik.

While Raina’s knock was all about composure, the knock played by Dinesh Karthik was absolute power hitting and some sheer innovation. He scored a brisk 47 in just 25 balls with 6 fours and 2 maximums to his name. He shared an 87 run stand with Raina in the middle order that provided the much needed impetus to the Gujarat line up.

4. Lynn-Gambhir too hot to handle for Gujarat boys

The Kolkata Knight Riders played their trump card as they played Chris Lynn as their opener. Over the past few years, Gambhir and Uthappa had been terrific performers for the side at the opening slot. They took a big risk by playing in Lynn at the top order. Also for Lynn, he knew he will get limited opportunities this season and hence had a lot to prove with the bat.

The two openers were aggressive right from the word go as they totally blew away the opposition. They added 73 runs in the powerplay and then accelerated even more. Soon, both batsmen reached their respective fifties. Lynn then took off as he finished with an unbeaten 93 off just 41 balls with 6 fours and 8 sixes. Gambhir, on the other hand, added 76 runs in  48 balls with 12 fours to his name. Both batsmen shared an unbeaten 184 run opening stand to see the Kolkata Knight Riders win by 10 wickets.

5. Inexperienced bowling cost Lions dearly

The Gujarat Lions bowling lacked experience and the look on the paper looked bleak too. They surely missed the bowling services of Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo. They had Praveen Kumar bowling with the new ball and he gave just 7 runs in his first over. In his second over, he gave just 6 runs. Barring those two overs from PK, no other overs went in favor of the Lions.

Dhawal Kulkarni, the leading wicket taker for Lions in 2016 edition, was taken away for 42 runs in his 2.5 overs. Manpreet Gony leaked 32 runs in his 2 overs. Shivil Kaushik was taken away for aplenty too as he gave 40 runs in his 4 overs. Dwayne Smith bowled just one over and gave as many as 23 runs. Shadab Jakati gave away 30 runs in his 30 overs. Also, the team leaked 15 extras.

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