Suresh Raina played a captain's knock to guide struggling Gujarat Lions to a four-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in an Indian Premier League match on Friday.
Chasing a challenging 188-run target set by KKR, Raina led from the front with a blistering 46-ball 84-run knock to set the platform for the much-needed win for Gujarat Lions. He hit nine boundaries and four sixes to steer Gujarat Lions chase.
The skipper was supported by Brendon McCullum (33) and Aaron Finch (31) who scored 42 runs off just 21 balls for the opening stand to get Gujarat Lions' chase off to a flier.
Down the order, Ravindra Jadeja remained unbeaten on 19 to finish off the proceedings for Gujarat Lions with a boundary in 18.2 overs.
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Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav (2/33) Nathan Coulter-Nile (2/41) picked up two wickets apiece for KKR.
Earlier, Sunil Narine dealt only in boundaries during his 17-ball 42 setting a new record of all runs scored in fours and sixes. He smashed nine boundaries and a six.
Uthappa (72; 48b 8x4 2x6) made the most of his reprieve -- he was dropped on 6 by Aaron Finch -- to hold the innings together and bring up his 19th IPL fifty and second successive one at the Eden.
While Manish Pandey (24; 21b 2x4 0x6) was castled by Basil Thampi and Suryakumar Yadav was run out (1), Yusuf Pathan remained unbeaten at 11.
Narine eclipsed Sri Lanka batting great Sanath Jayasuriya's tally of 36 runs scored in boundaries when the dashing southpaw was playing for Mumbai Indians against Deccan Chargers.
Along with skipper Gautam Gambhir (33; 28b 2x4 1x6), he engineered a 45-run partnership, finding the fence every three balls taking Praveen Kumar, James Faulkner and Thampi to the cleaners.
Faulkner -- playing his first match for Gujarat this season -- went for 17 runs in his first over.
Courtesy the Narine blitzkrieg, the hosts were 65/1 after the powerplay.
Skipper Suresh Raina finally put an end to the Narine show by bowling a back of length ball to which the batsman pulled late allowing Faulkner to pedal backwards and complete the catch from midwicket.
Uthappa, in his new found No. 3 role, seamlessly blended with Gambhir to stitch together a 69-run stand for the second wicket as the men in purple tore their weak counterpart's bowling attack to shreds.
Jadeja missed a run out opportunity off Dwayne Smith's bowling, throwing at the wrong end when Uthappa was halfway down the crease at the non-striker's end. Gambhir benefitted from the gaffe, bagging four overthrows.
The in-form home team skipper fell to Faulkner soon after with KKR well set for a big score at 114/2, top edging a good length delivery to skipper Raina at midwicket.
Uthappa was finally taken by Praveen Kumar in the 18th over but the damage was already done.