3rd Match of IPL 2017: Gujarat Lions (GL) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), April 7 | Scorecard and Report | SCA Stadium, Rajkot

Match report

When you do what Chris Lynn and Gautam Gambhir did to Gujarat Lions and their bowlers, you severely dent the psyche of your opponents for the rest of the tournament. Lynn and Gambhir weren’t out there to prove a point and neither were they on a revenge mission, but just by playing their natural game and conventional cricket shots, this Kolkata opening duo helped their team register a 10-wicket win to kick-start their IPL 2017 campaign. 31 balls were left in the KKR innings when Lynn hit the winning runs in the chase of 184.

For the Lions, this defeat will not only be a psychological dent but also might cause them to brood over their bowling options. I had said in an article analysing GL’s team composition, that their bowling lacks identity and could be taken to the cleaners on any given evening/night. Sadly for Gujarat, their unconcealable weak link was exploited in their very first match of the 10th edition of the IPL.

Lynn’s batting heroics in the Australian Big Bash League (BBL) have been well documented: he strikes the ball powerfully, hits plenty of fours and sixes straight down the ground and he is better against pacers and seamers than he is against spinners. Each one of these attributes was on display on Friday night in Rajkot by Lynn, who garnered a whopping 56 (60.21%) of his 93 runs through long off and long on, struck eight sixes and six fours, and he wasn’t entirely convincing against the unorthodox Shivil Kaushik, who he didn’t always pick either.

Gambhir, in the presentation ceremony, said: “He (Lynn) took a lot of pressure off me.” Although the KKR skipper’s is a no-brainer comment, it tells us about the size of the task at hand for the Knight Riders after the hosts Gujarat had posted 183/4. We live in an era when 200+ totals are being chased down with minimum fuss in T20 cricket and so, a target of 184, at a required run rate of 9.20/over, is by no means intimidating, particularly when you consider that GL’s bowling is docile. But make no mistake, Gujarat, as their captain echoed after the match, had made a good total.

GL were poor in the field, dropped a couple of catches and conceded 15 extras (11 wides and 4 byes), thereby helping Lynn and Gambhir set the record for the highest opening partnership (184) in the IPL—which was previously held by Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan for RCB (167), vs. Pune Warriors in 2013—and 184 has now become the highest-ever target chased down in Twenty20 cricket without losing any wickets.

When a batsman is in his zone and is striking the ball as cleanly as Lynn was, the bowlers usually have difficulty in stemming the run flow and tend to lose control over their line and length as well. And this is precisely what happened on Friday night at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot, the new first home of the Lions for IPL 2017.

While Lynn exuded power and struck the ball cleanly, Gambhir (76*) reminded us of his expertise in playing spin bowling. Rarely was he deceived by the trajectory and the variations of Kaushik, who showed tremendous control over his difficult craft. And against Shadab Jakati, Gambhir showed deftness and put up an exhibition of scoring runs against spin even while playing proper shots. Gambhir’s innings of 76* featured 12 fours and no sixes.

Like KKR, Gujarat surprised everyone with their team selection and batting order: Lynn wasn’t expected to open the innings with Gambhir and for the Lions, Jason Roy, their new recruit, wasn’t expected to feature in the playing XI, but once he did, the South African-born England opener probably had to be Brendon McCullum’s opening partner. As a result, Dwayne Smith was wasted at No. 6 in the batting line-up. The West Indian Smith went for a whopping 23 runs in the only over he bowled on the night, when Raina ran out of bowling options. Smith will do well to forget this night in a hurry.

In terms of positives for Gujarat, their skipper Suresh Raina opened the IPL 2017 campaign with an unbeaten half-century (68*). And in doing so, Raina has now become the batsman with the most IPL runs (4112*). KKR were just as sloppy in the field as Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers were, in their respective matches against Rising Pune Supergiant and Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Raina, on Friday night, was the beneficiary.

The UP batsman, who is out of contract with the BCCI, was involved in two partnerships of over 50, for the second (with McCullum) and fourth wicket (with Dinesh Karthik). Tamilnadu wicketkeeper-batsman Karthik played some adventurous strokes over the course of his innings (a 25-ball 47) and was pivotal in GL making 183/4. This, after Gambhir and KKR had won the toss and unsurprisingly chose to field first.

Match facts

IPL 2017, 3rd match: Gujarat Lions (GL) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
Date and time: April 7, 8:00 PM IST
Venue: SCA Stadium, Rajkot

Gujarat Lions vs Knight Riders, 3rd Match Scorecard

Gautam Gambhir and Kolkata won the toss and chose to bowl first.

Playing XIs

1. Suresh Raina*, 2. Brendon McCullum, 3. Dwayne Smith, 4. Aaron Finch, 5. Dinesh Karthik, 6. Shivil Kaushik, 7. Jason Roy, 8. Praveen Kumar, 9. Dhawal Kulkarni, 10. Manpreet Singh Gony, and 11. Shadab Jakati

1. Gautam Gambhir*, 2. Robin Uthappa, 3. Chris Lynn, 4. Manish Pandey, 5. Yusuf Pathan, 6. Suryakumar Yadav, 7. Piyush Chawla, 8. Trent Boult, 9. Chris Woakes, 10. Kuldeep Yadav, and 11. Sunil Narine


Gujarat: 183/4 (Raina 68* and Karthik 47; Kuldeep 2/25)
Kolkata: 184/0 (Lynn 93* and Gambhir 76*; Praveen 0/13)

Result: Chris Lynn and Gautam Gambhir pulverised the entire GL bowling attack and helped KKR open their IPL 2017 campaign with a massive 10-wicket win. The Australian Lynn was awarded the man-of-the-match for his 41-ball 93* (6×4 and 8×6)

Gujarat Lions (GL) Innings
Batsmen and dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Jason Roy

caught Y Pathan, bowled Chawla

14 (12) 3 0 116.66
Brendon McCullum

leg before wicket Kuldeep

35 (24) 4 2 145.83
Suresh Raina

not out

68 (51) 7 0 133.33
Aaron Finch

caught Suryakumar, bowled Kuldeep

15 (8) 0 2 187.50
Dinesh Karthik

caught Suryakumar, bowled Boult

47 (25) 6 2 188.00
Dwayne Smith

not out

0 (0) 0 0 0.00
Batsmen who didn’t bat Praveen Kumar, Shadab Jakati, Dhawal Kulkarni, Shivil Kaushik, and Manpreet Singh Gony
Extras 4 (2 wides and 2 leg byes)
GL’s total 183/4 in 20 overs, at 9.15 runs per over
GL’s fall of wickets 22/1 (Roy, 3.1), 72/2 (McCullum, 8.1), 92/3 (Finch, 10.2), and 179/4 (Karthik, 19.5)
Kolkata Knight Riders’s (KKR) Bowling
Bowlers Overs Dots bowled Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate  
Trent Boult 4 9 40 1 10.00
Piyush Chawla 4 7 33 1 8.25
Sunil Narine 4 7 33 0 8.25
Chris Woakes 3 5 35 0 11.66
Kuldeep Yadav 4 8 25 2 6.25
Yusuf Pathan 1 1 15 0 15.00
KKR Innings (target: 184 at 9.20 runs per over)
Batsmen and dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Gautam Gambhir

not out

76 (48) 12 0 158.33
Chris Lynn

not out

93 (41) 6 8 226.82
Batsmen who didn’t bat Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine, Trent Boult, and Chris Woakes
Extras 15 (11 wides and 4 byes)
KKR’s total 184/0 in 14.5 overs, at 12.40 runs per over
GL’s Bowling
Bowlers Overs Dots bowled Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate  
Praveen Kumar 2 2 13 0 6.50
Dhawal Kulkarni 2.5 3 42 0 14.82
Manpreet Singh Gony 2 4 32 0 16.00
Shivil Kaushik 4 10 40 0 10.00
Dwayne Smith 1 1 23 0 23.00
Shadab Jakati 3 2 30 0 10.00

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