An all-round performance by Gujarat Lions helped them defeat Kolkata Knight Riders by 5 wickets at Kolkata on Sunday and return to the top of the table. Earlier, after losing 4 wickets in the powerplay, the home side posted 158 on the back of a partnership between Shakib Al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan.
Gujarat Lions in a bid to take back the top spot, which they lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad after their win earlier in the evening. The home side retained the same XI that defeated Kings XI Punjab in the last
A horrific start for the home team
The opening partnership between Robin Uthappa and Gautham Gambhir has been the greatest strength for the two-time champions. Four half-century stands and a century partnership have arrived between the two in the nine matches so far this season, but today they failed to add to that.
Praveen Kumar struck first in the third over by removing KKR skipper Gambhir. The southpaw's attempt to glance the ball down the leg found him deflecting the ball into the stumps off his thigh pads. Manish Pandey lasted just two balls as he also fell to Praveen Kumar by giving Dinesh Karthik an easy catch behind the stumps. The procession to the pavilion wasn’t finished as Uthappa and Suryakumar Yadav also joined the predecessors to leave the side reeling at 24/4. A partnership was the need of the hour, and it was delivered by Shakib Al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan.
(Take a look at how Twitter reacted to Raina's outstanding catch and Gujarat's easy win over Kolkata)
Just 28 runs came
Only 57 runs were made in the first ten overs, but Yusuf and Shakib scored 101 runs in the next ten to take the team to a fighting total. The 134-run stand between the two also saw both Yusuf and Shakib scoring fifties. The duo threw the kitchen sink at everything and scored 60 runs in the last five to finish on a high at 158/4.
Smith and McCullum put Gujarat on top
Unlike the Kolkata side, who lost four wickets for 24 runs, Gujarat had a steady start with Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum producing a 42-run opening stand. They started cautiously with just one run coming in the opening over from Andre Russell. The duo, who struggled against the swing of Bhuvneshwar and Nehra in the last match, made sure that the team did not lose wickets in the match.
Smith donned the role of the aggressor and went after Morkel and
Dinesh Karthik takes the team to victory
With the platform set by Smith and McCullum at the top, Gujarat needed 92 more runs to win the match and Dinesh Karthik
Raina, who played the role of a spectator during Karthik’s onslaught, returned to