Gujarat Lions' (GL) skipper Suresh Raina once again silenced critics after playing a superb knock of 84 against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) leading his team to victory in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match on Friday. Chasing a challenging 188-run target set by KKR, Raina led from the front with a blistering 46-ball 84-run knock to set the platform for the much-needed win for Gujarat franchise. Coming on to bat at the No. 3 position, Raina took the attack to the opposition bowlers and decorated his innings with nine boundaries and four sixes to steer the difficult chase.
Languishing at the bottom of the points table before the match, Gujarat were not favourites to win against the IPL heavyweights. But Raina, who was denied the central contract, made sure that his team comeback and that too strongly in the 10th edition of the league.
During his knock, he also surpassed Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli's aggregate to become IPL's top run-getter. He also toppled Kohli in becoming India's highest run-getter in the shortest format of the game. Now, the left-handed batsman has 4341 runs in IPL and 6673 runs in T20 cricket.
Not only with the bat, the 30-year-old excelled with the ball too. He was the most economical bowler on Friday's match, giving away just 11 runs in two overs at the crucial juncture of the match and also took the important wicket of Sunil Narine.
Raina has rewound the clock tonight...needed a captain's knock to get the campaign back on track. Pls play an extra bowler next time. Tx :)— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) April 21, 2017
Powerful, superbly crafted knock by @ImRaina. Reminder to selectors, after being denied central contract, that his prowess hasnt waned— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) April 21, 2017
Hitting the purple patch at the right time, has he made a case for selection in the Champions Trophy? Well, it will be interesting to see how things pan out in the coming few days.