Karthik's 29-ball 51 guides Gujarat Lions to top of the table with a five-wicket victory over 2014 champions
Kolkata: Gujarat Lions shrugged off a three-match losing streak to tame Kolkata Knight Riders by five wickets and return to the top of the table.
Gujarat Lions Dinesh Karthik celebrates after scoring a half-century (50 runs) during the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Gujarat Lions at the Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium in Kolkata. Pics/AFP
The bowlers, led by their medium-pacers, restricted the league leaders to 158 and hit the required runs with two overs to spare. Dinesh Karthik scored a 29-ball 51 with eight boundaries and a six with Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch all chipping in with useful contributions.
If KKR put a challenging total on the board, it was thanks to Yusuf Pathan and Shakib Al Hasan. The two got together for an unfinished 134-run partnership, an IPL record for the fifth wicket. Coming off just 85 deliveries, it dragged KKR out of a hole. Put into bat, they were rattled and reduced to 24 for four in the sixth over by some fine seam-up bowling and a piece of brilliant fielding.
Kolkata Knight Riders' Yusuf Pathan slams one en route to his unbeaten 41-ball 63
Pathan remained unbeaten on a 41-ball 63 that had seven fours and a six while Shakib didn't let the padded-up Russell's absence be felt as he hammered 66 off 49 with four boundaries and four sixes.
When the reply began, Dwayne Smith was the first to go, Shakib pulling the ball back as the West Indian gave him the charge. Brendon McCullum, lucky to survive a caught-behind shout before he had scored, was beginning to slip into that ominous mood when Piyush Chawla had him hole out to Manish Pandey at long-on.
The former New Zealand skipper, whose under-edged off Andre Russell eluded the eyes of the umpire in the first over, went back with a 24-ball 29 that had three boundaries and two sixes.
Karthik joined skipper Raina and the two put on 49 in 36 balls to set the Lions on course again. Karthik was dropped on 40 and Raina left the next ball but it only made it worse for the Knights as Aaron Finch walked in for a 29 off 10 balls. He was run out but by then, the Lions were on the threshold of victory.