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IPL 9, Match 38: KKR v GL – 5 Talking Points

Yusuf Pathan-Shakib Al Hasan vs Gujarat Lions
Kolkata: Yusuf Pathan of Kolkata Knight Riders celebrates his half century during an IPL match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Gujarat Lions at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, on May 8, 2016. (Photo Source: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)

The Gujarat Lions have seemingly got their IPL 9 season back on track after cruising to a 6-wicket win over the mighty Kolkata Knight Riders. Playing in the fortress of the enemy in torrid conditions, the Lions clicked in all departments, seemingly erasing the loss at the hands of the Sunrisers in the previous match. The standout performers for the Lions on the day were Praveen Kumar and Dinesh Karthik while the efforts of Yusuf Pathan and Shakib Al Hasan rather disappointingly went in vain. Here are a few talking points on the proceedings in the 38th match of the IPL between the Knight Riders and the Lions.

1. Lions destroy KKR top order:

In somewhat of a rare event, the top order of the Kolkata Knight Riders was well and truly destroyed by the Lions bowlers. The impregnable opening pair of Gambhir and Uthappa had no answers to the wiliness of Praveen Kumar and Dhawal Kulkarni as they fell prey to some remarkable swing bowling. Praveen Kumar made the ball do all the talking as per usual by removing skipper Gautam Gambhir and the dangerous Manish Pandey while the teasing pace of Dwayne Smith removed Plan B Suryakumar Yadav. Robin Uthappa was also put out of his misery when the impressive Dhawal Kulkarni removed him for 14. The Knight Riders, as well documented, were staring down the barrel.

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2. Yusuf Pathan to the rescue:

Yusuf Pathan has of late been the go-to man for the Knight Riders. While many believe that he is well past his prime, the older of the Pathan brothers played yet another knock that got his side out of the woods. This wasn’t yet another cameo Yusuf was playing. Instead, this was a brilliantly constructed innings that had the class and distinction only he was capable of. Of course he played loose shot and of course he didn’t middle each and every ball. But, he kept his wicket and ensured that the Lions were kept at bay and prevented a collapse. One of the best, perhaps even the best inning played by Pathan in the IPL thus far.

3. Yusuf and Shakib involved in century-run stand:

While Yusuf Pathan continued on his merry way, he was ably supported by the remarkable yet vicious Shakib-Al-Hasan. The latter hadn’t had the best of IPL seasons as he could only muster a frugal score of 11 as his top score. However, on the night, it seemed as though the responsibility thrust on the southpaw almost made him perform to the best of his abilities. Initially, as would any batsman, Shakib had a tough time middling the ball, especially given the slowness of the wicket. He soon found his groove by smashing a few sixes and succeeded in helping the KKR cause by inching towards a competitive total. While Pathan himself was in sublime form, the duo added a mammoth 136 runs to the team’s total, obviously a sublime effort.

4. Smith and Mccullum lay solid foundation:

Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum are slowly becoming household names in the state of Gujarat. Of course they are in their 30s, and of course, they are at the twilight of their career. However, that ha failed to stop them from putting the opposition bowling to the sword. Old habits die hard innit? The very fact that the former Kiwi skipper didn’t look to slam the ball to the fence each time made him seem a tad bit elegant. Smith however, flicked, cut, pulled, and more importantly, scythed through the bowling attack, smashing 27 from just 18 deliveries. The duo had added 42 in just 33 deliveries with the foundation well and truly set for the daunting chase.

5. Dinesh Karthik steals the show yet again:

For some time now, Dinesh Karthik has been the name on all lips courtesy of his impressive performances with the bat. His performances with the bat have been truly phenomenal, apart from the fact that he has more often than not been the anchor for the Gujarat Lions thus far. Once again, he slammed an all important knock of 51 from 29 deliveries including 8 boundaries and a six. Although he lost his wicket towards the end of the innings, the irresistible Karthik was perhaps the reason the Lions coasted to a win with 12 balls to spare.

How did the match pan out? – IPL 9, Match 38 KKR v GL Review: Lions ease past the Knights

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