Two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders cantered to a 10-wicket win over Gujarat Lions in their opening match of the the Indian Premier League at Rajkot on Friday.
Chasing a challenging 184 for win, Chris Lynn (93 not out) and skipper Gautam Gambhir (76 not out) put on unbeaten 184 runs for the opening wicket to cruise to the victory.
Lynn consumed just 41 balls and struck six boundaries and as many as eight sixes during his fiery knock.
Gambhir, on the other hand, was at his subtle best and scored his runs off 48 deliveries with the help of 12 fours.
While Lynn was at his aggressive best, Gambhir played the second fiddle initially in the match-winning partnership.
Earlier, captain Suresh Raina led from the front with an unbeaten 68 to propel Gujarat Lions to a challenging 183 for four.
Raina top-scored for the hosts and consumed 51 balls during his knock which was studded with seven boundaries.
Besides Raina Dinesh Karthik (47) and Brendon McCullum played good hands for Gujarat Lions.
For KKR, chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav picked up two wickets giving away 25 runs.
Earlier, sent into bat, hard-hitting Englishman Jason Roy (14) made a breezy start to his IPL debut, smacking two fours off Trent Boult in the opening over.
But Roy's cameo came to and end in the fourth over when he got a leading edge of a short delivery from Piyush Chwala (1/33) and Yusuf Pathan did enough to hold on to the chance.
But the wicket hardly made any impact on McCullum's style of play as he clobbered Chawla for a six just two balls later.
Raina then joined the party and hit Chris Woakes for two boundaries in the sixth over. The Lions skipper, however, got a reprieve in the fifth ball of the same over when, running backward, Kuldeep failed to latch on to a tough chance.
McCullum looked ominous in his short stay as he welcomed Kuldeep with a four and a six in the next over.
But Kuldeep got his revenge in his next over when McCullum missed a straight delivery that caught the former Kiwi batsman plumb in front of the wicket.
New man in Aaron Finch (15) then smashed Pathan for consecutive sixes before he was holed to Suryakumar off Kuldeep at long-off in the next over.
Then Karthik and Raina joined hands and the duo shared crucial 87 runs for the fourth wicket.
Raina should consider himself lucky as beside surviving a run out chance, he was dropped again – this time Pathan spilling a simple chance – soon after scoring the batsman scored his half-century.
Raina grabbed the life with both hands and struck Chawla over the midwicket fence in the final ball of the same over.
Without going for rash shots, flamboyant Karthik hit Woakes for a six and a four and then Raina also found the fence to pick up 16 runs off the penultimate over.
Karthik continued in the same vein and struck two more boundaries in the final over from Boult before being caught by Suryakumar in search of quick runs.
(With inputs from PTI)
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