Before the start of the third game of IPL 2017 between Gujarat Lions and Kolkata Knight Riders, there were a lot of talks about the batting line up of both the teams. The game turned out to be exactly the same and Kolkata Knight Riders’s openers flattened Gujarat Lions with a record stand at the top. Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn added 184 for the opening partnership to start the campaign for their team with a win. The partnership was also the highest opening partnership in a successful chase.
Promoted up the order, Chris Lynn complimented Gautam Gambhir very well. It was only the third time in his 87 matches long T20 career that he opened the innings and he brutally hit the Gujarat bowlers all around the park. In his 41 ball 93, Chris Lynn hit 6 fours and 8 sixes. The KKR captain supported the heroic act very well by scoring his individual fifty and ended at 48 ball 76 with 12 boundaries. There were a few dropped chances in KKR innings, other than that, the two made it look like a walk on the cake by winning with over 5 overs remaining.
GL bowlers had a pretty off day on the field. Only Praveen Kumar could keep his economy rate at 6.5, rest all other bowlers went for over 10 runs an over. Dwayne Smith gave away 23 runs in an over whereas Manpreet Singh Gony went for 32 in 2 overs. Dhawal Kulkarni gave away 42 runs in under 3 overs. Both Dhawal Kulkarni and Dwayne Smith were hit for 3 sixes each.
Earlier in the first innings, Gujarat Lions posted a total of 183, riding on Suresh Raina’s 68. Rains has been one of the leading run scorers in almost all the seasons and he started the new season with a great knock again. In the match, he also became the highest run getter in IPL, surpassing Virat Kohli. Suresh Raina now has 4110 runs in IPL, more than any other player around. Dinesh Karthik supported Raina very well in their partnership of 73. Karthik hit 6 boundaries and 2 sixes in his 25 ball 47. Brandon McCullum and Aaron Finch showed some aggression before filing to convert a start in big score. McCullum scored 35 runs in 24 balls with 4 fours and 2 sixes, whereas Finch hit 2 sixes in his 8 ball 15.
KKR’s Kuldeep Yadav once again showed why he is considered as one of the biggest aspects for India in the coming time. In his 4 overs, he gave away just 25 runs and sent back McCullum and Finch. Piyush Chawla and Sunil Naraine, both gave away 33 runs in their quota of 4 overs with Chawla picking the wicket of Jason Roy in the fourth over. KKR bowlers did not get enough support from the fielders and there were at least 3 catch drops at crucial points of the game.
The match which was seen as a battle between batsmen of both the teams, saw KKR openers playing a truly class innings. Gautam Gambhir has been rock solid at the top of the order and he got a perfect partner in Chris Lynn to start the campaign on a high.