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Smith, McCullum lead Gujarat to first win of season

Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum got Gujarat Lions off to a rollicking start against Pune BCCI

Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum's 94-run opening stand led Gujarat to a seven-wicket win against Pune - their first of the 2017 season -in the Indian Twenty20 competition at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot on Sunday.

Pune, a team struggling for form, languishing at the bottom of the points table with just one win from four matches, scored 171 after being put in to bat on a sluggish Rajkot surface. Andrew Tye, making his debut in the tournament, returned with figures of 5 for 17, including a hat-trick, the best figures by a debutant in the competition.

Gujarat required over nine an over from the onset to ensure that Tye's heroics with the ball didn't go to waste. Smith and McCullum put their experience to good use and led the onslaught from the start. The duo set the tone by smashing three fours and two sixes in the first two overs. Shardul Thakur then dropped McCullum in the third over. The former New Zealand captain made them pay for the error by targeting Pune's bowling mainstay, Imran Tahir, clobbering him for four fours and two sixes in his first two overs. Smith had struck eight fours and one six in a 30-ball 47 before he fell in the ninth over. McCullum departed shortly after with a 32-ball 49, but the early damage had already been done. Aaron Finch and Suresh Raina completed the win.