Kanpur: Medium pacer Dwayne Smith turned out to be almost unplayable as he helped Gujarat Lions limit Kolkata Knight Riders to 124 for eight in a crucial Indian Premier League match here today.
Smith returned to the dressing room with a career best figures in T20s of 4/8 in four overs after his captain Suresh Raina put the opposition on a greenish track at the Green Park Stadium, which hosted its first ever IPL game.
The Lions made good use of the conditions with the ball moving around. Openers Robin Uthappa (25) and Gautam Gambhir (8) found it tough in the middle with the ball seaming around, especially negotiating Smith. A struggling Gambhir were given two lives in the field before he got involved in mix-up with Uthappa to be run out.
Smith then dealt a triple blow to leave KKR at 55 for four in 10 overs. The gentle medium pacer the odd ball seam and jump off the pitch as he had Manish Pandey caught at first slip before Uthappa played a loose shot to be caught behind.
Smith dominated the opposition batsmen and ended up bowling 18 dot balls in his four over spell. Piyush Chawla, promoted to number four in the batting order, did not last long and was bowled by Smith. Shakib Al Hasan ended being Smith’s final victim after he mistimed one to be picked up at third man, reducing KKR to 61 for five in the 12th over.
The in-form Yusuf Pathan (36) and Suryakumar Yadav (17) were able to stitch a handy 41-run partnership but their team needed more from them in the circumstances.
KKR could have got a few more if Pathan did not get out on the second ball of the 18th over. The big hitter ended with three fours and a six in his run a ball effort.