Chris Lynn had come into the IPL with a reputation of being a bludgeoner, thanks to a scintillating show by the batsman in the Big Bash League in Australia. And he did his reputation no harm against Gujarat Lions at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot.
Opening the innings with skipper Gautam Gambhir, in place of regular opener Robin Uthappa, Lynn’s unbeaten innings of 93 off just 41 balls not only took KKR home with 31 balls to spare, but also ensured that the Lions were never in the contest in the second half of the game.
Chasing 184 for a win was not expected to be an easy task even though it was a belter of a track, but Lynn made his intentions clear from the word go. He hit the last ball of Praveen Kumar’s first over for a boundary over the square-leg fielder and that was that.
What followed after that was clear carnage as he used his power-hitting skills to bash eight sixes and six boundaries. He was intent on taking the Gujarat bowlers to the cleaners. Short or full, they were all headed to one direction — the boundary.
Lynn took special liking for the Doctor — as Dwayne Smith is fondly called — as he hit the West Indian bowler 23 runs off the lone over that Smith bowled. It was the seventh over of the innings and that was the lone over he bowled in the evening.
The first one was a huge six over long on, the second was a swat over mid-off for a boundary, the third a dot, the fourth a six over deep mid-wicket, the fifth another six over long on and a single to seal the over.
He along with Gautam Gambhir also ended up registering the highest opening-wicket stand in the history of IPL surpassing Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan’s opening stand of 167 against Pune in 2013.
The only regret for the KKR fans would have been Lynn running a double to end the chase, rather than going for his 9th maximum.