Dwayne Smith claimed four wickets for just eight runs - his best T20 bowling figures - as his side Gujarat convincingly beat Kolkata by six wickets in the Indian Twenty20 competition in Kanpur on Thursday.
Smith - known for his batting prowess - occasionally bowls medium pace and it's his bowling that helped Gujarat wrestle early advantage to skittle their opponents for just 124 in their innings. Suresh Raina, Gujarat's captain, won the toss and opted to bowl first on a bowling-friendly track.
Kolkata's openers, Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa, got their side off to a solid start before Gambhir was run-out in the fourth over for just eight. Given the green Kanpur track, Raina bowled Smith, in the fifth over, before the likes of Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja. The move paid dividends as Smith struck from just his second ball and dismissed Manish Pandey for one.
Smith added to Kolkata's woes in his next over - the seventh of the match - by dismissing Robin Uthappa, who had just completed 5000 runs in the T20 competition two-overs earlier. The impressive display reduced Kolkata to 44 for 3. Piyush Chawla, promoted to No. 4 as a pinch hitter, hit just one four during his 16-ball stay at the wicket. Chawla had no answer to a short delivery from Smith and holed out to third man. Kolkata - at that stage - were left reeling at 61 for 5 in the 12th over. They never recovered and managed just 124 in 20 overs.
Gujarat was off to a horror start with the bat and lost openers, Smith and Brendon McCullum, in the first two overs. Raina and Dinesh Karthik added stability, before Aaron Finch finally joined his captain to guide their side home with 39 balls remaining. The win not only vaulted them to No. 2 on the
points table, but also lifted their net run-rate from -0.747 to -0.479, intensifying the race for the playoffs.
"I am not one to be frustrated if I don't get the ball. But I'm willing to bowl. I don't really bowl in the nets. I just back myself. Jerome Taylor is there in Mumbai along with Pollard. Looking forward to it," Smith, the Man of the Match, said.