In the first game of the first season of the IPL, it was a batsman from the Kolkata Knight Riders who set this new league on fire. Brendon McCullum’s innings of 158* off 73 balls turned to be one of the major reasons as to why the IPL is the biggest domestic tournament today.
Nobody will forget that innings when we talk about the IPL or KKR. When we talk about the Kolkata team, one more thing comes to mind and that’s a stunning comeback.
KKR might have started the IPL on a winning note but they were never close to winning the IPL in the first three seasons. It was from the fourth season that they completely changed their team and there was a complete turnaround.
They won their first IPL in 2012 and then backed it up with another IPL trophy two years later in 2014. Gautam Gambhir who led KKR from 2011 was instrumental in making this happen.
KKR is also known for their scouts who find new talent. Many teams had no idea about Sunil Narine but KKR still backed him and bought him for a high price in the auction and they were spot on. They have a really good research team that helps them to search new talent.
KKR has the habit of setting new records in the IPL from the first day itself, so let’s have a look at five such records which are held by KKR:
#5 Highest Opening Partnership – 184* vs GL
Over the years, KKR have had a strong opening combination which consisted of Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa. These two were doing really well at the top, but still, in 2017 they decided to change it.
In their first game of the season, Gujrat Lions reached the total of 183-4 which is a really good total. Chasing 184, Gautam Gambhir and KKR’s new opener Chris Lynn made a mockery of the target.
They chased down the target in just 14.5 overs without losing a single wicket. Gambhir scored 76 off 48 balls and on the other hand, Lynn cleared the boundary eight times to score 93 off just 41 balls.
The GL bowlers were smashed all over the park as the KKR openers set a new IPL record of the highest opening partnership which is yet to broken.
#4 Highest Successful Run-chase in an IPL Final – 200 vs KXIP in 2014
KKR were playing their second IPL final in 2014 and had the experience of chasing a big score in the final as they had done it in 2012.
On the other hand, it was the first time that KXIP had reached the final. KKR won the toss and asked KXIP to bat first. KXIP struggled in the initial overs but an outstanding century from Wriddhiman Saha and a half-century from Manan Vohra took their total to a mammoth 199-4.
It was a huge total considering the occasion of the match. Chasing 200 to win the title, KKR started on the wrong note as they lost the orange-cap holder Robin Uthappa in the first over itself.
It took a special effort from Manish Pandey who scored 94 off just 50 balls to bring the game in KKR’s favour. Piyush Chawla hit the winning runs as KKR chased down the total with just three balls to spare.
Throughout the chase, KKR kept with the asking rate of ten and hence they could set the record of the highest successful run-chase in an IPL final.
#3 Bowled Out RCB for the lowest IPL total ever - 49
KKR were hosting the mighty Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Eden Gardens on 23rd April 2017. Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bowl first on the quick Eden wicket. Batting first, Sunil Narine gave a good start as he smashed 18 runs off the first over which was bowled by his teammate Samuel Badree.
But once Narine got out for 34, no one would have imagined that this would be the highest score in the game as KKR collapsed and lost nine wickets for 66 runs. They were bowled out for 131 in 19.3 overs.
It seemed that it would be a walk in the park for RCB who had Gayle, Kohli and de Villiers in their batting line-up. But what we witnessed was something different and special.
A classical spell of fast bowling from the KKR quicks meant that RCB’s team total couldn’t cross the 50 run mark. RCB were bowled out for 49 with no batsmen reaching the double figures.
KKR’s pacers picked up all the ten wickets as they bowled out RCB for the lowest ever total in the IPL.
#2 Most Consecutive Wins in the IPL – 10 matches
In the 2014 IPL season, things didn’t start well for the Kolkata Knight Riders as they were losing games on a frequent basis. Out of the first seven games, KKR lost five and won only two. They were in the bottom half of the table and their chances of qualifying for the playoffs looked slim.
KKR had to win almost every game to make it to the playoffs stage and suddenly their comeback started. They didn’t win two, three four but all the seven remaining games of the league stage and finished second in the points table. The continued their winning streak in the first qualifier and went into the final.
In 2014 Final they chased down a huge total to take their unbeaten streak to nine games in a row. At the halfway stage KKR looked done for the season but they didn’t give up and eventually went on to win the tournament.
They didn’t leave this record here. They came back in 2015 and won their first game and increased the record of winning the most consecutive matches in the IPL to 10.
#1 Highest Score in the Powerplay – 105/0
RCB were already going through a horror season and they had to host KKR at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
KKR won the toss and opted to bowl first. Half-centuries from Mandeep Singh and Travis Head helped RCB put up a decent total of 158-6 on the board. In 2017 the Bangalore wicket was quite slow and so the score seemed to be alright.
Chasing 159, Gambhir came up with a new strategy. Instead of opening the innings he sent in Lynn, who was coming off an injury and Narine to open.
This was their third opening pair of this season and so it seemed odd because KKR is known to have a settled opening pair, but what happened after that was something special. Lynn and Narine didn’t show any respect to any bowler as they smashed 105 runs in the powerplay.
Sunil Narine smashed the joint fastest fifty of that time which came in just 15 balls. Lynn too wasn’t far behind as he reached his fifty in 21 balls. It seemed like their job was to make the ball reach the boundary and they did it successfully.
In this process, they broke the previous record of CSK who had scored 100-2 in the powerplay. The record still belongs to KKR and is yet to be broken.