Lions' roar silences Knights

Lions' roar silences Knights

Skipper Raina slams match-winning 84 as Gujarat notch their second win

Lions' roar silences Knights

Suresh Raina played a captain’s knock to guide struggling Gujarat Lions to a comprehensive four-wicket win over two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders in an Indian Premier League match, here on Friday.

Chasing a challenging 188-run target set by KKR, Raina led from the front with a blistering 46-ball 84-run knock to set the platform for the much-needed win for Gujarat Lions.

Coming on to bat at the No 3 position, Raina took the attack to the opposition bowlers and decorated his innings with nine boundaries and four sixes to steer Gujarat Lions’ chase.

He was ably supported by Brendon McCullum (33) and Aaron Finch (31) who stitched 42 runs off just 21 balls for the opening stand to get Gujarat Lions’ chase off to a flier.

Down the order, Ravindra Jadeja remained unbeaten on 19 to finish off the proceedings for Gujarat Lions with a boundary in 18.2 overs.

Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav (2/33) Nathan Coulter-Nile (2/41) picked up two wickets apiece for KKR.

Earlier, Robin Uthappa cracked a brilliant half-century while makeshift opener Sunil Narine struck a quickfire 42 at the top to guide Kolkata to 187 for five.

Uthappa made 72 off just 48 balls balls with the help of eight boundaries and two sixes to anchor the KKR innings after Narine (42 off 17 balls)  played a short little cameo at the top to give his side a blazing start to their innings after being invited to bat.

Uthappa, in his 50th appearance for KKR, made a feast of the lacklustre Lions attack as he posted his second half-century of the season and 19th overall in IPL.

Narine’s breezy knock was studded with nine boundaries and a huge hit over the fence.

Narine had shown his big-hitting skills as an opener with a 37 against Kings XI Punjab earlier in the tournament and on the day he got past that mark with another blistering knock.

He swung his bat to every ball and the Gujarat Lions new ball attack of Praveen Kumar and James Faulkner was found wanting.

Narine began his assault with three boundaries in Praveen Kumar’s first over that yielded 12 runs, and then he hammered four boundaries, three of them on succession, off Faulkner’s next over.

Besides, skipper Gautam Gambhir made 33 off 28 balls while Manish Pandey (24) and Yusuf Pathan (11 not out) also conributed for the hosts.

For Gujarat Lions, skipper Suresh Raina (2/11) was the most economical bowler.

Score board

KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS: Sunil Narine c Faulkner b Raina 42, Gautam Gambhir c Raina b Faulkner 33, Robin Uthappa c McCullum b Praveen 72,

Manish Pandey b Thampi 24, Yusuf Pathan (not out) 11, Suryakumar Yadav (run out) 1, Shakib Al Hasan (not out) 1. Extras (LB-2, W-1) 3. Total (for 5 wkts in 20 overs) 187.

Fall of wickets: 1-45, 2-114, 3-169, 4-184, 5-186.
Bowling: Praveen Kumar 2-0-24-1, James Faulkner 4-0-38-1, Basil Thampi 4-0-44-1, Suresh Raina 2-0-11-1, Dhawal Kulkarni 2-0-23-0, Ravindra Jadeja 4-0-31-0, Dwayne Smith 2-0-14-0.

GUJARAT LIONS: Aaron Finch c Pandey b Coulter-Nile 31, Brendon McCullum c Pandey b Woakes 33, Suresh Raina c Pandey b Kuldeep 84, Dinesh Karthik c Gambhir b Coulter-Nile 3, Ishan Kishan c Umesh b Kuldeep 4, Dwayne Smith b Umesh 5, Ravindra Jadeja (not out) 19, James Faulkner (not out) 4. Extras (LB-4, NB-1) 5. Total (for 6 wkts, 18.2 overs) 188. Fall of wickets: 1-42, 2-73, 3-81, 4-115, 5-122, 6-180.

Bowling: Shakib Al Hasan 3-0-31-0, Sunil Narine 4-0-42-0, Nathan Coulter-Nile 3.2-0-41-2, Chris Woakes 2-0-20-1, Kuldeep Yadav 4-0-33-2, Umesh Yadav 2-0-17-1.