After losing our first match to Punjab Kings by 7 runs via DLS method, Kolkata Knight Riders have staged an impressive turnaround, winning two consecutive fixtures against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) respectively.
The two-time TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) champions currently occupy the third spot in the league table with an NRR of 1.375. The Knights will next play against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens on April 14, Friday.
The two sides have faced each other 23 times so far, with 17 of those games taking place in India. The Knights lead the head-to-head record 15-8. One game (in Abu Dhabi in 2020) ended in a tie, but KKR bagged two points from it by virtue of winning the super over. The last time these two teams crossed paths at the Eden Gardens on 24th March 2019, KKR emerged victorious by 6 wickets.
As Nitish Rana and Co. gear up to host SRH after a four-year hiatus in Kolkata, we take a look at the Knights’ top five wins against the Hyderabad-based franchise:
5.THE FIRST WIN AGAINST SRH
SRH, who made their IPL debut in 2013 replacing the erstwhile Deccan Chargers, suffered a 48-run defeat in their first-ever match against KKR at the Eden Gardens. Interestingly, that game was played on the same day that will see the two teams go up against each other for the 24th time – 14th April!
The hosts won the toss and chose to bat first. Led by their then-skipper Gautam Gambhir (53 off 45 balls), the Knights rode valuable contributions from Manvinder Bisla (28 off 24 balls), Jacques Kallis (41 off 27 balls) and Eoin Morgan (47 off 21 balls) to post 180/4 at the end of their 20 overs.
The KKR bowlers then produced a collective effort to restrict SRH to just 132/7. While Kallis (3/13) and Rajat Bhatia (2/33) picked up 5 wickets between them, Sunil Narine (1/31), SachithraSenanayake (1/18) and LakshmipathyBalaji (0/30) returned with parsimonious figures as none of the SRH batters could cross the 40-run mark. Gambhir was adjudged the Player of the Match.
4.UMESH WREAKS HAVOC
2014 will always be a memorable year for the KKR faithful. After winning only 2 of their first 7 matches that year, the Purple & Gold brigade completed a turnaround for the ages as they won 9 matches in a row en route their second IPL title.
Going into their leg 1 game against SRH on the back of three consecutive wins, the Knights continued their winning streak as they handed their Hyderabad counterparts a 7-wicket defeat at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on 18th May 2014.
Batting first, SRH could only amass 142/8 from their 20 overs as UmeshYadavspearheaded KKR’s bowling charge with figures of 4-0-26-3. The Vidarbha pacer dismissed three of SRH’s four overseas players (Aaron Finch, David Warner and Dale Steyn), leaving the batters undone with his searing pace and terrific outswingers.
KKR chased down the target without much hassle as four of their top five batters (Robin Uthappa - 40 off 33 balls, Manish Pandey – 35 off 32 balls, Yusuf Pathan – 39* off 28 balls and Ryan ten Doeschate – 25* off 15 balls) made 25-plus scores. Yadav, who went on to finish the season with 11 wickets, was adjudged the Player of the Match.
3.HAIL BEFORE DRE-RUSS!
KKR kicked off their IPL 2019 campaign with a home clash against SRH at the Eden Gardens on 24th March 2019. Batting first, the visitors posted a formidable 181/3 as David Warner (85 off 53 balls), Jonny Bairstow (39 off 35 balls) and Vijay Shankar (40* off 24 balls) went hammer and tongs.
Although Rana propelled KKR’s chase with a 47-ball 68 at the top of the order, the Knights suffered a setback in the middle overs as they lost wickets in quick succession. Needing 64 to win off the last 27 balls with six wickets in hand, the hosts witnessed Russell mania for the nth time as he smashed four sixes and four fours in 19 balls to propel KKR to a six-wicket win. In the process, the Jamaican all-rounder (49*) helped KKR knock off a record 53 runs in the last three overs.
2.MANISH, YUSUF COME TO KKR’s RESCUE
KKR took on SRH in a high-stakes battle at the Eden Gardens on 22nd May 2016. It was a must-win game for the Knights in a bid to make the playoffs. It was also their last league game of the season.
Being put to bat first, KKR were reeling at 57/3 in the eighth over, having lost the wickets of Uthappa (25 off 17), Gambhir (16 off 15) and Colin Munro (10 off 8).
From there, Manish Pandey (48 off 30) and Yusuf Pathan (52* off 34) pulled off a rescue act by putting up an 87-run stand for the fourth wicket.
KKR eventually won the contest by 22 runs and made their way into the playoffs. Narine (3/26) and KuldeepYadav (2/28) were the wreckers-in-chief for the Knights.Pathan was adjudged the Player of the Match.
1.PATHAN’s FIREWORKS AT THE EDEN
There was no stopping Yusuf Pathan on his day. Playing against SRH in their last league game at the Eden on 24th May 2014, KKR were chasing a target of 161. They needed to do the job in 15.2 overs in a bid to finish in the top 2 and get two shots at reaching the final.
However, the task seemed grim as the asking rate climbed up to 13.5 at one stage. The next few overs witnessed Pathan’s rampage as he smashed a 22-ball 72. He reached his 50 in 15 balls, a then record for the fastest IPL fifty. Such was his impact that he took 26 runs (4, 6, 6, 4, 4, 2) off one of Dale Steyn’s overs. By the time Pathan was dismissed, the equation had come down to less than a run-a-ball.
The Knights eventually won the contest with 34 balls remaining and leapfrogged Chennai Super Kings to the second spot.