Buoyant Kolkata take on lowly Gujarat in IPL clash

Buoyant Kolkata take on lowly Gujarat in IPL clash

Kolkata: Revenge will be on their minds when bottom-placed Gujarat Lions take on table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) fixture here at the Eden Gardens on Friday. Any other team would have succumbed under pressure but not KKR, who put up a 110-run fourth wicket stand between Manish Pandey (69 not out from 47 balls) and Yusuf Pathan (59 from 36 balls) to set up the four-wicket win.

Australian medium-pacer Andrew Tye registered a hat-trick and returned figures of (5/17) as Lions won by seven wickets with two overs to spare against Rising Pune Supergiant.

One of Gautam Gambhir or Robin Uthappa has been the top-scorer for Kolkata Knight Riders in 18 of their 35 wins since 2014 and that clearly shows the impact the duo have on the team's results. Making their debut a year ago, Gujarat beat Kolkata in both home as well as away fixtures in IPL 2016. Manish Pandey has been in sublime form with the bat. The dashing Kiwi batsman has scored 225 runs in five games at an average of 45.

But for the Suresh Raina-led Gujarat Lions, nothing has gone right, be it their batting or bowling, especially the spin department which has let down the team badly.

After spending a three-day welcome break, KKR now would be back to relish Eden's home comfort in two successive matches in three days time. Earlier, KKR and GL came face-to-face at Rajkot in Match No. 3 of this season, where the Gautam Gambhir-led side handed a crushing defeat to Suresh Raina and co.

Kolkata Knight Riders' Chris Lynn, who is now injured, was the big difference when KKR played Gujarat Lions earlier in IPL 2017, with Gautam Gambhir's side romping to victory. They have more than made up for the lack of teeth in the first six overs by striking repeatedly in the middle overs; they have taken a total of 18 wickets in the middle overs - which is the highest among all the teams.

There has been no individual hero for KKR in their journey so far.

The Gujarat Lions on the other hand have been struggling pretty hard to gain some momentum in this season.

Kolkata Knight Riders have used ten bowlers this season, and every bowler has contributed at least one wicket.