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Last Updated Sunday July 23 2017 04:23 PM IST

Upbeat Knight Riders meet bottom-placed Lions

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Manish Pandey Manish Pandey has been simply sensational for KKR. IANS

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.

Suresh Raina-led Lions had suffered a 10-wicket defeat to KKR in their own den on April 7.

Read also: Dhawan, Williamson shine as SRH beat DD by 15 runs

KKR openers Gautam Gambhir (76 not out off 48) and Chris Lynn (93 not out off 41) made short work of Gujarat's 183 where Raina top-scored with an unbeaten 68.

Both sides have treaded different paths with the Men in Purple recording four victories and just one loss out of their five engagements so far, and Gujarat tasting four defeats and just one win from their five games.

Lions succumbed to a tame defeat against defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad too, in their second game of the campaign.

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.

Since then, the side formed in 2016 finished second best to Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore, their bowlers failing to come good on both occasions.

Ravindra Jadeja went for 57 runs against RCB in his quota of four overs.

Chris Gayle was at his lethal best as he plundered a 38-ball 77 to help Virat Kohli's team post a mammoth 213/2. Lions' batsmen fought hard with Brendon McCullum smashing a 44-ball 72, but in the end fell 21 runs short.

Big hope Gujarat Lions will be pinning their hopes on opener Brendon McCullum. IANS

The good thing for Lions is McCullum's form with the willow. The dashing Kiwi batsman has scored scored 225 runs in five games at an average of 45.

Coming to the home team, the two-time champions showed character during their nail-biting four-wicket win against Delhi Daredevils with one ball remaining in their last game.

Being in the dumps while chasing 169 to win, Manish Pandey (69 not out) and Yusuf Pathan (59) stemmed the rot doggedly with a 110-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Since the four-wicket loss to Mumbai Indians in their second outing, the Gautam Gambhir-led franchise has not looked back, scripting a hat-trick of wins. Besides Gambhir looking rock solid at the top of the order (196 runs in five matches), Pandey has been in outstanding form, amassing 221 from his four essays at a staggering average of 221.

Pathan getting among runs should also be a cause of joy for KKR. What remains to be seen is who opens the batting with Gambhir.

After Lynn got injured, Sunil Narine and Colin de Grandhomme have been given chances to make the most of the Powerplay overs.

Off-spinner Narine has been the most economical among bowlers who have played five matches so far this season.

The squads: (from): Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (capt), Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Chris Lynn, Umesh Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Sheldon Jackson, Ankit Singh Rajpoot, Trent Boult, Chris Woakes, Rishi Dhawan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rovman Powell, R. Sanjay Yadav, Ishank Jaggi, Darren Bravo, Sayan Ghosh, Colin de Grandhomme.

Gujarat Lions: Suresh Raina (capt), Ravindra Jadeja, James Faulkner, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo, Aaron Finch, Dwayne Smith, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Dhawal Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar, Andrew Tye, Ishan Kishan (wk), Pradeep Sangwan, Shivil Kaushik, Shadab Jakati, Jaydev Shah. Jason Roy, Basil Thampi, Manpreet Gony, Shubham Agarwal, Tejas Singh Baroka, Chirag Suri, Pratham Singh, Shelley Shaurya.

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