Chris Lynn and Gautam Gambhir set the highest opening stand in IPL history as the Kolkata Knight Riders won by 10 wickets.
Suresh Raina’s Gujarat Lions won their first three games of IPl 2016 before going on to win the group stages, but they’ll have to find other ways to find success this season, as they were thoroughly outplayed by two batsmen in Rajkot on Friday night.
The Lions’ 183-4 was led by Raina’s 68 off 51 balls, albeit in slightly fortunate circumstances after some chances in the deep went begging on numerous occasions.
Raina leapfrogged Virat Kohli as the IPL’s highest run-getter in history with that innings, but Brendon McCullum’s 35 off 24 balls and Dinesh Khartik’s 25-ball 47 were far more clinical. This, despite an impressive effort from Indian Test star Kuldeep Yadav, who took 2-25.
The response was crushing from Lynn and Gambhir. The KKR skipper, the fourth-highest run-scorer of all time in the competition, combined to lethal effect with the Australian, as their 73 runs in the Power Play destroyed their highest ever score in that period, 68.
It was only the third time Lynn had opened in a T20 match, but he took to it with ease, smashing eight sixes on his way to 93 off just 41 deliveries. West Indian medium-pacer Dwayne Smith was one of the unlucky bowlers on the receiving end of the assault, as he conceded 23 runs off his over. Gambhir hit 12 fours for his 76, as his side chased down the total with 5.1 overs to spare.