Smith stars as Lions roar - Russell now leading wicket-taker
KOLKATA, India (CMC):
West Indies opener Dwayne Smith contributed with the bat again as Gujarat Lions outclassed Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by five wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) yesterday.
Smith raced to 27 from 18 balls to kick off a methodical run chase in which Lions coasted to 164 for five in 18 overs, after KKR posted 158 for four from 20 overs at Eden Gardens.
The Barbadian batsman struck four fours and cleared the ropes once in a 42-run opening partnership with Brendon McCullum, who scored 29 from 24 balls.
The partnership ended when Smith was beaten in flight by Shakib al Hasan and lost his stumps in the sixth over.
Smith, who bowled two overs for Lions, also picked up a wicket for 14 runs.
Dinesh Karthik's top scored with a busy 51 from 29 balls to seal Lions' seventh win, with five wickets in hand and 12 balls to spare.
Earlier Knight Riders were reduced to 24 for four by the end of the power play as a result of impressive swing bowling by Praveen Kumar and Dhawal Kulkarni, who exploited overcast skies.
However, KKR were lifted to 158 for four on the strength of a 134-run partnership between Shakib Al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan, who were undefeated on 66 and 63, respectively.
Lions have now climbed to the top of the IPL standings following their win over KKR.
Despite his team's defeat, West Indies opener Andre Russell celebrated a milestone by moving to the top of the table for the most wickets taken this season.
Russell had Suresh Raina caught at fine leg for 14 to finish with one wicket for 21 runs and taking his tally of scalps to 14.
Meanwhile, West Indies allrounder Kieron Pollard wants his franchise Mumbai Indians to forget their excruciating loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad yesterday.
Mumbai crashed to a massive 85-run defeat to Sunrisers at the ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam
They were bowled out for 92 in 16.3 overs, the lowest total of the season, after Sunrisers posted 177 for three in their 20 overs.
"To be honest, sometimes in these sort of games, you can find many faults, and at the end of the day, we come to play cricket, we come to give a 100 per cent," said Pollard in the post-game news conference.
"Today is one of the games where we don't want to actually pinpoint anything. We just want to actually forget it."
Sunrisers' innings were given momentum from a solid opening stand between David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan, which yielded 85 runs. Dhawan was not out on 82, while early aggressor Warner was caught by pollard two runs short of his half century.
"This is the back end of the tournament and we need confidence. We don't need guys with their heads down now," said Pollard, who scored 11, one of only three batsmen to post low double-digit figures.
"We don't need people to be playing the blame game at this point in time. We need all hands on deck in order to get through the back end of the tournament."
Ashish Nehra, three for 15, and Mustafizur Rahman, three for 16, were the main destroyers of Mumbai's innings.
"For me, personally, I think it's one of those things we just have to forget," said the West Indies cricketer.
"We will sit down again and look at the performances, look at how the wicket behaved and see how we need to improve".
Sunrisers' huge win has taken them to the top of the IPL table.