IPL 2017: Suresh Raina Led Batting Line-Up Outshine KKR To Register Second Win
In a race to the high-scoring chase, Gujarat started with an aggressive mindset, as Brendon McCullum with his new opening partner Aaron Finch, kicked off the innings in a way it deserved.
In the first three overs bowled by spinners, the opening pair dispensed 40 runs before Finch was dismissed by Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Skipper Suresh then arrived at the crease and led the team from the front, as the left-handed batsman was batting with utmost responsibility.
Soon rain also arrived which halted the game for nearly 30 minutes but did not have any impact, as neither the overs were cut short nor the target was brought down.
Raina though was determined and the break did not break his concentration, as once he stamped his foot on the crease, he batted with utmost confidence and raised his strike rate soon.
During the chase, a stage came when Gujarat Lions lost few wickets but Raina stayed there till the 18th over, when the team were just eight runs away to accomplish second win of the tournament. He played a match winning innings of 84 off just 46 balls to keep the team stable and floated despite few jitters in the route to the win.
It was a brilliant chase from the visitors, as Kolkata kicked off the show in an aggressive way which led the base to this huge total.
Without any surprise, Sunil Narine again came out to open the innings replacing Colin de Grandhomme, who was left out of the side. The punt to promote Narine again repaid the benefits to KKR, as the pinch hitter smashed three boundaries in the first over of the game followed by four boundaries very next. The slogging continued, as two fours and a six followed in the next over.
Suresh Raina was a bewildered captain out in the middle and amidst the Narine show, he asked his bowlers to rest and himself came to the fore to roll his arm. The gamble paid off, as Narine could not do the same treatment with the skipper and was dismissed on a 42 off just 17 balls.
Raina provided a big breakthrough for the team and the visitors breathed a great sigh of relief.
Runs though continued to come with just a short downfall in the run-rate. Skipper Gautam Gambhir himself , as he played useful innings of 33 off 28 and shared 69 runs with Robin Uthappa (72 off 48).
Riding on a solid start provided by the batsmen, KKR ended its campaign with a high score of 187, which was a defendable total but a poor show from the bowlers disappointed captain and the fans.
Brief Score: Gujarat Lions 188/6 (Suresh Raina 84, Brendon McCullum 33; Kuldeep Yadav 2-33) defeat Kolkata Knight Riders 187/5 (Robin Uthappa 72, Sunil Narine 42; Suresh Raina 1-11) at Eden gardens in Kolkata.
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