Suresh Raina played a captain's knock to guide struggling Gujarat Lions to a comprehensive four-wicket win over two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders during their Indian Premier League match in Kolkata on Friday.
Chasing a challenging 188 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.
Coming on to bat at the number 3, Raina took the attack to the opposition bowlers and decorated his innings with nine boundaries and four sixes to steer Gujarat Lions chase.
Rain had stopped play briefly but it had no effect on the match as the Lions chased down the target with ease.
Raina was ably supported by Brendon McCullum (33) and Aaron Finch (31) who stitched 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.
Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav (2/33) Nathan Coulter-Nile (2/41) picked up two wickets apiece for KKR.
Earlier, Robin Uthappa cracked a brilliant half-century, while makeshift opener Sunil Narine struck a quick-fire 47 at the top of the order to guide Kolkata Knight Riders to 187 for five during their Indian Premier League match against Gujarat Lions, in Kolkata on Friday.
Uthappa made 72 off just 48 balls with the help of eight boundaries and two sixes to anchor the KKR innings
Before Uthappa’s blazing knock, KKR rode on Narine (42 off 17 balls), who played a short cameo to give his side a super start after being invited to bat.
Narine's breezy knock was studded with nine boundaries and a huge hit over the fence.
Besides, skipper Gautam Gambhir made 33 off 28 balls while Manish Pandey (24) and Yusuf Pathan (11 not out) also contributed for the hosts.
KKR were held back a little after Faulkner, Gujarat Lions, skipper Suresh Raina and Basil Thampi picked three quick wickets late in the innings.
For the Lions, Suresh Raina (2/11) was the most economical bowler.