Skipper Suresh Raina struck an exemplary knock of 68 runs (not out) to lift Gujarat Lions (GL) to a competitive total of 183 runs for the loss of four wickets against Kolkata Knight Riders at the SCA Stadium, Saurashtra on Friday.
Raina's knock was measured as it came off 51 balls and well-decorated by seven boundaries.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik supported the GL captain and scored causative 47 runs off 25 balls.
With a remarkable strike rate of 188, Karthik lifted the home crowd off their feet, slamming two sixes and four boundaries.
For the fourth-wicket, Raina and Karthik put an 87-run partnership stand that laid a strong foundation for the last year table-toppers.
Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav led the bowling attack for KKR as he claimed two big wickets in shape of Brendon McCullum (35) and Aaron Finch (15).
Pacer Trent Boult took the scalp of Karthik, while spinner Piyush Chawla dismissed GL opener Jason Roy (14) to join the bowling assault.