Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL 2018, Bengaluru April 29, 2018

Remodelled Lynn delivers another win

The opening batsman had a vastly different approach to his innings but still made it work

All-star of the match

A feature of post-surgery Chris Lynn's batting is that he is a lot more measured in his approach at the start. To avoid excessive load on his shoulders, Lynn has put away his high-risk-high-reward slugs over the leg side and largely looks to add more finesse to his innings.

His innings against Royal Challengers Bangalore in a 176 chase was uncharacteristic - an unbeaten 62 at a strike rate of 119. It was comparable to one Ajinkya Rahane played earlier on Sunday in a losing cause. But the big difference was that Lynn could have changed his pace if he so wanted.

That wasn't his role on the night. With the uncomplicated flair of Sunil Narine, who always seems to make runs against Royal Challengers, and a fluid Robin Uthappa at his home ground, Knight Riders managed to keep up with the rate even as Lynn brought out sweep after sweep against the two legspinners. He missed often, but almost every one of his runs against spin came with the sweep. It's all he needed to do, because he had neutralised the fast bowlers, who had come out with a plan to bowl full and straight at him.

Between that and Narine's fortuitous survival of the short-pitched bowling, Lynn took out the Royal Challengers bowling from the game completely.

Wow moment

Exactly an over after he was dropped on 7, Lynn was already set to put the pressure on Royal Challengers. It was the fifth over of the innings and Lynn had only faced one short ball. He had the tactics figured out and waited deep in the crease as Umesh Yadav looked to spear in another yorker at the stumps. Lynn got his front leg out of the way and drilled one flat over the bowler's head. It was his best-timed shot of the evening and his only six.

The numbers

  • This was Lynn's slowest return in an innings where he has faced at least 40 balls; he had never hit fewer than three sixes in an innings with those many balls faced
  • Lynn's control percentage against the two spinners was a shade over 60%; this changed to 83% against the fast bowlers
  • Apart from the opening stand with Narine, Lynn played second fiddle in every other partnership that he was part of

Quotes

"I've had to grind out some runs this season. Definitely got to use the sweep in this part of the world especially against spin bowling. Whatever scenario comes, I'm going to play it by the ear. The body is getting there, been a tough schedule and I'm chipping away."
Chris Lynn, at the post-match presentation

Varun Shetty is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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