Tottering at the bottom end of the IPL 10 rankings, Gujarat Lions were not the favourites going into their Indian Premier League match against Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday.
Sunil Narine’s 42 off 17 and Robin Uthappa’s 72 off 48 helped KKR put up a challenging total of 188 for the visitors in Kolkata. However, it was opener Suresh Raina’s heroics that came to his team’s rescue.
The skipper smashed a 46-ball 84 before getting caught by Manish Pandey off Kuldeep Yadav’s delivery. Ravindra Jadeja remained unbeaten on 19 to finish off the proceedings for Gujarat Lions with a boundary in 18.2 overs.
Enroute his knock, Raina surpassed Virat Kohli’s aggregate to become IPL’s top run-getter.
Hitting nine boundaries and six fours, man-of-the-match Raina brought up his second fifty of the season's IPL also becoming India’s highest run-getter in T20 cricket.
Mohammad Kaif, Harbhajan Singh, Michael Clarke among others heaped praise on Raina for his match-winning knock.
Powerful, superbly crafted knock by @ImRaina. Reminder to selectors, after being denied central contract, that his prowess hasnt waned— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) April 21, 2017