The last time the Kolkata Knight Riders stepped onto the Eden Gardens, they entered the record books as their pace attack dismantled the star-studded batting unit of the Royal Challengers Bangalore for just 49 runs, the lowest score in the history of Indian Premier League. While the bowling unit won them the match against the Bangalore outfit, it was time for their batsmen to step up and take the responsibility of taking the team over the line in their next encounter and they did not disappoint either.
Chasing 183 runs against the rejuvenated Rising Pune Supergiant, Gautam Gambhir and his troops ensured a clinical batting performance to thump the Supergiant by seven wickets in their own backyard. Riding high on confidence after routing the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Rising Pune Supergiant, Knight Riders return to their fortress to counter the young brigade from Delhi in the first match of the doubleheader on Friday.
The inexperienced batting unit of the Delhi Daredevils has come back to haunt them and they need to get their act together in the coming matches in order to revive their campaign. The Daredevils are languishing in seventh position in the points table and will be looking to make amends and get back to winning ways against the mighty Knight Riders.
The two teams have been involved in some hard fought encounters ever since the inception of Indian Premier League in 2008 and this game will not be any different as the teams face off for an epic clash the Eden Gardens.
Let us relive the top five moments between the two sides in the history of Indian Premier League:
#5 Robin Uthappa’s fighting 72 off 52 balls in 2016
The Delhi Daredevils displayed an all-round performance to outclass the Knight Riders by 27 runs in the first game between the two sides in the ninth edition of the tournament. Playing in front of their home crowd, the Delhi boys put up a huge total of 186 runs in their 20 overs largely due to half-centuries from Karun Nair and Sam Billings.
Chasing 187 runs for victory, the Knight Riders started on a poor note as they lost their skipper, Gautam Gambhir cheaply in the third over of the run chase. Robin Uthappa opened the batting along with Gambhir and scored a fighting knock of 72 runs in 52 deliveries to give the Knight Riders a chance of victory. The right-handed batsman failed to find an ideal partner in the massive run chase as wickets kept tumbling at the other end.
Uthappa started to take the attack to the opposition once the lower order batsmen came in and smashed a few boundaries to give his team a slender hope of winning. He was eventually dismissed in the 18th over of the chase for 72 runs and his lone fighting knock was studded with six boundaries and two huge hits over the fence.
The wicket dismissed all hopes of KKR scrambling over the line and the visitors folded for 159 runs with Uthappa top-scoring.
#4 Gautam Gambhir leading from the front with a match-winning knock of 69 runs in 2014
The skipper of the Knight Riders has led from the front whenever he has stepped on the pitch and it was no different in the 2014 edition. The left-hander was in sublime form throughout the tournament and produced one of his best knocks against Delhi Daredevils. KKR were coming to the Feroz Shah Kotla ground after four successive defeats in the tournament and were looking to their in-form captain to turn things around for them.
The home team won the toss and elected to bat first on a flat Kotla surface and were powered to a decent total of 160 runs in the first innings mainly due to a late blitz from JP Duminy. Chasing 161 runs to get back to winning ways, the skipper anchored the run chase along with Robin Uthappa to lay a foundation for this run chase. The duo put on a 100-run stand for the opening wicket to ensure that the Knights got over the line in a must-win game.
The southpaw scored a match winning 69 in his 56-ball stay to lead the home team to victory by eight wickets. Gambhir lost his wicket with just 10 runs required for victory but he had already caused a lot of damage. His aggressive knock comprised of five boundaries and two maximums to give the Knight Riders a much-needed win and get their campaign back on track.
#3 Morne Morkel derails the top order of the Knight Riders in 2012
The unprecedented rains at Eden Gardens played spoilsport in the second league match between the Knight Riders and the Delhi Daredevils in 2012. With the crowd patiently waiting for the game to start, the relentless showers finally made way to clear sky and the match was curtailed to 12 overs per side.
Electing to bowl first after winning the toss, the bowling unit of the Daredevils showed immense control and discipline to restrict the opposition to 97 runs in their quota of 12 overs. Morne Morkel, leading the pace battery, was the wrecker-in-chief as he dismantled the top order of the Knight Riders by scalping three quick wickets to put the brakes on the scoring rate.
The tall South African first picked up the wicket of the experienced Jacques Kallis in the fourth ball of the third over and followed it up with a brilliant ball to get rid of Manoj Tiwary to rattle the Knight Riders in their quest of a huge first innings total.
The two wickets in one over proved to be the turning point of the match as the hosts failed to recover from the early jitters and post a substantial first innings total. The right arm medium pacer also picked up the crucial wicket of Gautam Gambhir in the middle overs to further dent the batting unit of the Knight Riders.
Morkel was at his best on the slow Eden Gardens surface as he returned with figures of 3 for 18 in his three-over spell. The Daredevils batsman got over the line very easily and completed a comprehensive eight-wicket victory.
#2 Sunil Narine weaves his magic in the inaugural match of 2013 edition
The opening match of the 2013 edition of the Indian Premier League witnessed the two heavyweights, Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils, clash horns in front of a packed Eden Gardens. The crowd at the Gardens had plenty to cheer as the match proved to be a blockbuster for the home side as they started the tournament in a commanding fashion with a six-wicket victory over the Daredevils.
The skipper, Gautam Gambhir, won the toss and elected to bowl first, in order to give his bowlers a chance to exploit the fresh wicket on offer at the Eden Gardens. The bowlers did not disappoint him as they rocked the batting unit of the Daredevils and bundled them out for a low score of 128 runs.
The carnage started from the very first ball of the tournament as Unmukt Chand was cleaned up by a Brett Lee special to give the home side an early advantage. Post the early breakthrough, it was time for West Indian, Sunil Narine, to weave his magic around for the Knight Riders.
Narine has gone on to become a proven match winner for KKR and he was at his very best in the opening match as he picked up four crucial wickets in the middle overs to put a halt to the Daredevils’ quest to score a huge first innings total.
He returned with figures of four for 13 in his quota of four overs to rattle the batting line-up of the visitors. His crucial wickets in the middle overs resulted in the opposition being bowled out for 128 runs in the first innings.
This match winning spell by the Windies spinners set up the match in favour of the Knight Riders and they cruised to a comfortable six-wicket victory.
#1 David Warner lights up Feroz Shah Kotla with a scintillating century in 2010
The Feroz Shah Kotla witnessed a masterclass from a then exciting young Australian, David Warner, who recorded his maiden century in the shortest format of the game to hand the Delhi Daredevils a huge win over the Knight Riders at home.
Electing to bat first, the left-hander opened the batting for the Delhi outfit and scored an enthralling century to power his team to a massive total of 177 runs in the first innings. Warner constructed his innings very well as he took the attack to the opposition in the powerplay and patiently rotated the strike in the middle overs and launched into his hard hitting in the death overs.
Warner’s brilliance at the top of the order ensured that the Knight Riders had to chase a steep first total of 178 runs in order to post a win. The task seemed to be a huge one for the Knights and they could manage just 137 runs in their 20 overs.
The Australian left-hander’s unbeaten knock of 107 runs in 69 balls with nine fours and five maximums proved to be the turning point of the match as the Knight Riders failed to come back into the game post his fireworks.