Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa had shared 1478 runs in 39 innings at an average of 37.89 for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. So it was a bit of a surprise when Chris Lynn strode out to partner Gambhir in Kolkata Knight Riders' 184 chase. He had batted at No. 3 for Brisbane Heat in this year's Big Bash League, and for Australia in a subsequent ODI against Pakistan, before suffering a neck injury. He hit the most sixes in the BBL in 2015-16 and 2016-17, and the second-most sixes in the Caribbean Premier League, behind Chris Gayle. The common denominator in all his pyrotechnics was his bottom-handed power and his preference for a cross bat.
His first three boundaries came in the region between square leg and long-on. His power through the line of the ball was discernible. He hit two fours and two sixes in a 23-run, seventh over off Dwayne Smith. And he raced to a 19-ball fifty, the joint second-fastest for Knight Riders. At this stage, Knight Riders had reached 96 for 0 after seven overs, and the game was effectively done. He went on to share a 184-run, unbeaten opening stand with Gambhir, the highest partnership for Knight Riders. The IPL, and Gujarat, were struck by Lynnsanity.
The wow moment
Lynn had already raced away to 16 off 6 when Manpreet Gony, playing his first game since 2013, erred with a full delivery. On a true batting pitch, Lynn could not have asked for more. He cleared his front leg and swung through the line of the ball. So good was the timing that he cleared the long-off boundary by a significant distance on a large ground.
Lynn hammered 32 runs off deliveries with the pull shot. He also hit 46 runs off 18 balls off short or good-length deliveries.
Before Friday, only once had Lynn opened the batting in 80 T20 innings
Of his 93 runs, 69 runs came against pace off 24 balls
Six of Lynn's seven top scores have come while chasing
What they said
"To hit the ball a long way is my role. I like the spot at the top, the ball is coming on. I am used to the ball coming on at home. Gauti (Gambhir) is such a good player of spin, I can turn the strike to him and I can handle the quicks. One good innings does not make a summer.
Chris Lynn on his match-winning innings
"Always a dangerous sign when your attacking batsmen also start playing sensibly and rotate the strike."
Sachin Tendulkar on Lynn's composure during the chase