Gautam Gambhir chose to chase and restricted the Lions' powerful top order in the early stages but Suresh Raina was crucially dropped and made an unbeaten half-century.
However, the 183 they made was not enough as KKR's captain Gambhir, partnered by Australia's Chris Lynn, knocked off the target with five full overs remaining and no wickets down.
Here are the highlights, the lowlights and the things to learn from Match 3 of the IPL.
Gujarat Lions have got the same plan as Lahore Qalandars
Jason Roy and Brendon McCullum are two of the most desirable opening batsmen in world T20 cricket and having batted together at the top of the order for Lahore in the Pakistan Super League, they have been reunited in Gujarat.
In very different ways, they are explosive and destructive and every IPL franchise will spend plenty of time in team meetings considering how to nullify them.
Gautam Gambhir's plan was to use spin early and mix it up, with three different bowlers taking the first three overs.
Highest earners in the IPL
Wed, April 5, 2017
Express Sport brings you the top 10 highest earners in the IPL
Cricket Australia/Getty Images
1 of 10
10. Shane Watson (Royal Challengers Bangalore) – $1,425,000
Piyush Chawla did for Roy and the much-fancied Kuldeep Yadav trapped McCullum LBW with a fine leg-break, but not before he had made 35 from 24.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
It's not just Roy and McCullum though
Even if you do get rid of Roy and McCullum, you're then faced with Aaron Finch and Suresh Raina. It's a brutal batting order.
But that makes it even more crucial that you don't drop a catch and don't make it Raina.
Suresh Raina has been a mainstay of the IPL since its inception
Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn put on 184 for a record IPL partnership
It would have been a great catch by Yadav out in the deep had he clung on but top-level cricket is about taking those opportunities – the IPL's top all-time run-scorer was on 12 at the time and finished unbeaten on 68. KKR were fortunate that it didn't cost them the game.
Chris Lynn is the real deal
Lynn has been a little slower in his coming of age than a lot of Australians might have fancied.
But he now has his first IPL fifty and there's absolutely no reason to think he won't get a few more.
The 26-year-old announced himself to the cricket world while still a teenager, scoring his maiden first-class hundred against Western Australia.
Lynn scores a boundary every four balls on average and represents one of the IPL's best overseas talents.
Oh and there's this Gautam Gambhir bloke as well?
Yes him. He's 35 years young and was the perfect foil to Lynn in a record opening partnership for KKR.
Gambhir has been with the franchise since 2011 and led them to the 2012 title.
And while Raina is the IPL's most prolific run-scorer, he is one of only three players to have scored more runs than Gambhir.
Gujarat Lions have gambled big on batting
That top four of Roy, McCullum, Raina and Finch should be enough to terrify most bowling line-ups into submission but cricket is a multi-disciplined game and man cannot live by runs alone.
Without Dwayne Bravo and Ravi Jadeja for the opening games, the KKR bowling attack looks dangerously vulnerable.
Praveen Kumar was the only bowler to excel as Chris Lynn creamed them to all corners, Dwayne Smith going for 23 in his solitary over.
Jadeja is only expected to miss the first two games with his finger injury but Bravo's hamstring problem has him out for several weeks – they will have to find something else to fill the gap he leaves in the pace attack.