Chris Lynn came to the Indian Premier League with the reputation of being a powerful striker but his first lasting memory was a blinder of a catch he had taken in the 2014 edition, in Sharjah. Lining himself to take a catch off AB de Villiers, Lynn had slipped but still managed to stretch back and complete it. Lynn has been a bit of a journeyman in the shortest format, playing for Jamaica Tallawahs, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Kandurata Warriors and Brisbane Heat. In India, he spent a very brief and barren stint with Deccan Chargers and Sunrisers Hyderabad before finally being bought by Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014. Before Friday’s blitzkrieg, Lynn had only totaled 89 runs in five matches in his IPL career. From now on, however, Lynn will carry the tag of a belligerent opener as well as a finisher due to a 41-ball 93 that propelled Kolkata Knight Riders to one of their easiest wins in IPL history. Even opening the batting was relatively new to the Queenslander, this being the third time in 87 T20s that he has done it.
But Gautam Gambhir was vindicated by his decision to not go with his long-time partner Robin Uthappa. Along with Gambhir, Lynn tormented the Gujarat Lions bowling attack to pile up 73 runs in the Powerplay overs, breaking the side’s previous best of 68. While Gambhir paced his innings well, Lynn was devastating from the other end. He started the carnage with a boundary against Pravin Kumar in the first over before hitting Dhawal Kulkarni for a gigantic six in the second.He then upped the ante in the next over by picking up 12 against Manpreet Gony, including a six that went almost 20 rows behind in the stands. However, his best was reserved for Dwayne Smith who he welcomed in the seventh over with a six over long-on before picking up two more over-boundaries and a four in the very over. A single off the last ball brought up his fifty.
Gujarat Lions looked ordinary without Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo but it didn’t take anything away from Lynn’s knock which only got more brutal with time. He hit eight sixes in the match but that again is bread and butter for Lynn. Earlier this year, Lynn had a 49-ball 98 for Brisbane Heat in their Big Bash match against Perth Scorchers. He had hit 11 sixes in that match, finishing the Big Bash with 26 sixes, more than any other team had hit.