Gujarat Lions v Kolkata Knight Riders: Player of the Match

Kolkata Knight Riders’ Chris Lynn had been a star in the recent Big Bash League for his whirlwind, match-winning innings; against Gujarat Lions, too, he treated fast bowlers with disdain, carried off with a nonchalance that is his wont.

Chris Lynn in full flow on Friday night.   -  AFP

A man who has gone unnoticed for much of his involvement in the Indian Premier League before this season, Chris Lynn set the tone for the current edition with a trademark knock that wound up the contest quite early on Friday night. Lynn had been a star in the recent Big Bash League for his whirlwind, match-winning innings; against Gujarat Lions, too, he treated fast bowlers with disdain, carried off with a nonchalance that is his wont. There were a few flat sixes among the eight that he hit, exhibiting the power he could utilise when bashing a cricket ball in his 41-ball 93.

Report: Kolkata Knight Riders strolls to 10-wicket win

Military medium bowler Dwayne Smith provided an ideal platform for Lynn’s full powers to unfold. He gave away 23 runs in the seventh over of the innings. Three sixes and a four were hit - off deliveries both short and full. Lynn reached his half-century off 19 balls at the end of the over, and a one-sided end was nigh.

The contest had reached a psychological end long before Lynn’s finishing touches to the night. He survived two dropped chances in consecutive balls in what turned out to be the final over of the match. One of them was a seemingly simple one off Brendon McCullum at the long-off boundary. Perhaps it was suggestive of the demoralising effect Lynn’s innings had had in the hour leading up to this point.

As he pointed out at the post-match chat, Lynn finds the opening slot suitable to his play. He said the ball comes on to the bat nicely for openers, which helps as he plies his trade in faster pitches back in Australia. Batting at that spot certainly put the spotlight on him, after years of being overlooked, on Friday.