2 different teams but pretty much on the same verge of reaching the playoffs defines the journey of Gujarat Lions and Kolkata Knight Riders in the VIVO IPL 2016 – both the teams need to win 1 match of their remaining 2 in order to qualify for the playoffs; to make things more interesting, their second last match was against each other which further enhances the stake of the match with it leaving one team with the last do and die match and one with 8 wins and a step closer to a birth for playoffs.

Gujarat Lions vs  Kolkata Knight Riders
Date 19 May 2016
Venue Green Park
125/8 (13.3)   124/8 (20)
Gujarat Lions won by 6 wickets

Lions won the toss and opted to bowl, KKR was yet again made to bat first which is against their strength which is to chase. KKR were forced to replace Russell due to his freak injury and that made them brought in Jason Holder. Gujarat Lions made 3 changes, bringing in Raina, Jakati and Dwivedi.

The buzz around the Kolkata Knight Riders team reaches peak when their two openers in Uthappa and Gambhir click which sadly for them has been a rare sight in the last few games – probably the primary reason for their streak of losses.

An absolute genius in the field from Jakati at point resulted in yet another run-out for KKR captain Gambhir, twice now in 2 matches – getting run out in the last match while batting with Manish Pandey and with Uthappa in this match and during such crucial tenure of tournament, getting run-out is the last thing that you want.

Uthappa looked good in his short stay of 25 in 19 balls but what followed next was a flurry of wickets and surprisingly the wicket taker was the part timer in Dwayne Smith – the Gujarat Lions opener. Grabbing 4 wickets for just 8 runs – phenomenal figures for even a full time bowler and for an AR, well just exemplary.

From 23-1 the KKR team stumbled to 61-5, should it have not been for some resistance on the part of Yusuf Pathan, who hung in and made a run a ball 36 guided KKR to 120 which is 6 to the over, not the ideal total that you’d want at this stage of the tournament and in a match that you’d desperately want to win for leaving your qualification to the last match raises immense pressure. Was 120 enough though?

In order to peg back Gujarat Lions in the chase, KKR desperately needed some quick wickets and they got one in the form of Dwayne Smith (hero with the ball) but not clicking in his primary role in that of a batsman. Smith went for a duck.

McCullum soon followed the steps of Smith to the pavilion and the Lions were in a bit of a trouble at 18-2, in spite of early wickets the Lions captain in Raina – who missed the last game due to birth of his daughter, played to his usual style that is of being aggressive regardless of the situation and it worked.

A 36 ball 53 from Raina pretty much sealed the match for the Lions. Even though Lions lost two more wickets that of Finch and Karthik (26 and 12 respectively), the KKR bowling unit was never able to put a break on the flow of runs which enabled Gujarat Lions to chase down the total in just 13.3 overs.

Kolkata Knight Riders now need to win their last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad to qualify for the playoffs. The Gujarat Lions now have 8 wins under their belt but they still aren’t confirmed of a playoff birth.

GL vs KKR Squads for 19 May 2016 Match 51

Gujarat Lions

Suresh Raina (C), Akshdeep Nath, Dwayne Bravo, Paras Dogra, Eklavya Dwivedi , James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Shadab Jakati, Dinesh Karthik (W), Shivil Kaushik, Dhawal Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar, Sarabjit Ladda, A Mishra, Brendon McCullum, Pradeep Sangwan, Jaydev Shah, Umang Sharma, Dwayne Smith, Dale Steyn, Pravin Tambe, Andrew Tye

Kolkata Knight Riders

Gautam Gambhir (C), Piyush Chawla, John Hastings, Brad Hogg, Jason Holder, Sheldon Jackson, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Lynn, Manan Sharma, Morne Morkel, Colin Munro, Sunil Narine, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Ankit Rajpoot, Andre Russell, Rajagopal Sathish, Shakib Al Hasan, Jaydev Unadkat, Robin Uthappa (W), Suryakumar Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Shaun Tait

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