The 51st game in the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League saw Gujarat Lions take on Kolkata Knight Riders at Green Park,Kanpur.
Dwayne Smith came up with scintillating performances with the ball on a lively surface produced at Kanpur to bag four wickets for just 8 runs and setup a six wicket victory for his side against Kolkata Knight Riders.Suresh Raina won the toss for Gujarat Lions and elected to bowl first keeping in mind the bowler friendly conditions.The Gujarat bowlers did execute their plans well to contain Kolkata Knight Riders to a low score of 124 runs.
The Kolkata Knight Riders got off to bad start with Gambhir involved in a terrible mix-up to find himself run out while Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey departed early to see the team sink to 55 for 4 after 9 overs.Dwayne Smith came onto the attack and seem to find a nice length on a surface offering lateral movement and bounce with batsmen tentatively pushing and prodding at balls outside the off stump. Suryakumar Yadav and Yusuf Pathan came together to steady things together but in the end manage to get 124 runs.
Gujarat Lions came out aggressively as they aim was to improve their net run rate in the league standings.The openers Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum departed early to provide a chance to Kolkata Knight Riders on surface offering something for the bowlers. Dinesh Karthik played a cautious innings only be see his stumps clattered by an in-dipper from fast bowler Morne Morkel to leave Gujarat Lions placed at 38 for 3 after 4 overs.The captain Suresh Raina led from the front after missing games due to paternity issues as he timed the ball well with inside out flicks and drives to help his side gather progress in the chase.He scored an unbeaten 53 runs off 36 balls and struck seven fours and one six in his innings.He added 59 runs with Aaron Finch to take his side to win the game by 6 wickets.
The win did gave Gujarat Lions some comfort as they will now comfortably qualify for the playoffs in the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League.