KOLKATA, India (AP) Captain Suresh Raina rode his luck and nerve in scoring 84 as his Gujarat Lions surprisingly lowered the high-flying Kolkata Knight Riders by four wickets in the Indian Premier League on Friday.
Kolkata, winner of four games in five, was the big home favorite against Gujarat, winner of only one game.
But after winning the toss, Gujarat restricted Kolkata to a sub-par 187-5 and replied with a victorious 188-6 and 10 balls to spare.
Aaron Finch launched Gujarat with 31 off 15 balls and, after a half-hour delay for drizzle, fellow opener Brendon McCullum smacked 33 off 17 balls.
Raina took the anchor role, and watched Dinesh Karthik, Ishan Kishan, and Dwayne Smith all depart cheaply, so Gujarat was a shaky 122-5 in the 13th over.
Raina even got a life on 15 when Yusuf Pathan dropped him on the boundary, giving the skipper a six.
Ravindra Jadeja also got a reprieve when he was caught on the boundary but Suryakumar Yadav stepped on the rope, and another six was conceded.
In the following over, the 17th, paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile was whacked for 16 runs, and Gujarat finally brought the win in sight.
Raina couldn’t see it out, though, as he was locked up by spinner Kuldeep Yadav and out for 84 off 46 balls, including nine boundaries and four sixes.
By then, eight runs were needed off 13 balls, and Gujarat wasted little time finishing its second win.
Kolkata squandered another great start from opener Sunil Narine, who hit three boundaries off Praveen Kumar in the first over, four boundaries off James Faulkner in the second, and took 14 runs off Basil Thampi, yet another medium-pacer, in the third.
Narine was finally out in the fourth, trying to pull Raina but hitting only to midwicket. His 42 off 17 balls, all of his scoring either fours or sixes, wasn’t matched by a Kolkata teammate.
Fellow opener Gautam Gambhir scored 33, and Robin Uthappa 72 after surviving a difficult chance on 6, but there was a feeling a bigger score was wasted after Narine’s explosive start.