IPL 9, Match 38 KKR v GL Review: Lions ease past the Knights

IPL 9, Match 38 KKR v GL Review: Lions ease past the Knights

Dinesh Karthik-Suresh Raina Gujarat Lions
Dinesh Karthik-Suresh Raina. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Two of the top teams of the competition Kolkata Knight Riders and Gujarat Lions clashed at Kolkata in a bid to race ahead of the one another. Knight Riders walked into the game as the favorites since they were playing at home. For the Lions, it was about getting their combinations right again after losing their last 3 matches.

Kolkata Knight Riders posted a below par score on the board that never looked enough against a formidable Gujarat Lions batting attack. A gritty half century from Dinesh Karthik ensured that the Gujarat Lions were never out of the run chase and eventually won by 5 wickets.

Having won the toss, the Gujarat Lions skipper Suresh Raina had no hesitation in putting Kolkata Knight Riders into bat first. The Knight Riders openers Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa had a fantastic time playing in the home games this season. But today wasn’t their day. Gambhir was dismissed in the 3rd over when he misread a ball from Praveen Kumar and had his bails displaced. In walked Manish Pandey but became Praveen Kumar’s second wicket in the same over when he edged one to be dismissed caught behind on a duck. Robin Uthappa lost his wicket in the next over and could score just 14. Suresh Raina then took a blinder at the slips to send Suryakumar Yadav back to the pavilion.

Yusuf Pathan and Shakib Al Hasan were at the crease then and had the rebuilding work to be done. While Yusuf played his natural game, Shakib’s poor form was evident through the sluggish start to his inning. Yusuf picked up yet another half century and showed some excellent hitting. At one stage, Shakib looked struggling at 33 from 35 balls with just 5 overs to go. The Bangladeshi all-rounder then stepped on the accelerator and brought his maiden fifty of the season.

Interestingly, his previous best score in this season was just 11. The duo put on an unbeaten stand of 134 runs in 90 balls to take the score to a competitive 158/4 in 20 overs.

The Gujarat Lions openers Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith made an uncharacteristic slow start to the chase and put on 42 off 33 balls for the 1st wicket before Smith was castled by Shakib in the last over of the powerplay. McCullum was joined by the skipper Suresh Raina. He tried to break the shackles and hit a couple of sixes to feel comfortable at the crease.

The McCullum breeze didn’t stay for long though and he was caught in the deep by Manish Pandey off the bowling of Piyush Chawla in the 8th over. He was dismissed on 29 (24). Dinesh Karthik was the new man in and he batted as if he was batting on a different track altogether. On the other hand, Suresh Raina struggled to middle. He was soon dismissed by Andre Russell for an 18-ball 14.

Aaron Finch walked into the middle and started off from the fifth gear taking the charge to the KKR spinners. Karthik then brought up his half century in 27 balls. On the very next delivery, he missed the wrong ‘un by Brad Hogg but was lucky to have escaped as Uthappa missed a simple stumping chance. The luck didn’t last long either as it was a replay of the same delivery on the next ball that saw Karthik walk back to the dugout. He was stumped this time and scored 51 off 29 balls with 8 fours and 1 six.

Ravindra Jadeja walked to bat with just 4 runs needed. With 1 needed to win, a miscommunication saw Aaron Finch get run out. Finch was livid with the dismissal and scored 29 off 10 with 3 fours and 2 sixes. It was too late anyway as Jadeja finished it off in style with a six. Gujarat Lions won by 5 wickets.

Brief Scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders: 158/4 in 20 overs (Shakib Al Hasan 66, Praveen Kumar 2/19)

Gujarat Lions: 164/5 in 18 overs (Dinesh Karthik 51, Andre Russell 1/21)

Man of the Match: Praveen Kumar

What did the two skippers say after the game? – Dinesh Kartik’s knock changed the game: Gautam Gambhir