KKR commenced their IPL 2021 campaign on a confident note, taking down Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by ten runs, courtesy a professional all-round effort. In their next two games, though, they tasted defeat against Mumbai Indians (MI) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
Meanwhile, CSK began their IPL 2021 campaign with a loss against Delhi Capitals (DC). But they returned to winning ways, registering impressive triumphs against Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Rajasthan Royals (RR).
In their head-to-head battle with KKR, CSK hold a significant 15-9 lead in 25 games (one match produced a 'no result'). Last year, KKR and CSK split their two meetings.
With KKR and CSK all set to renew acquaintances tonight, let's take a look at the three most impressive batting performances in past contests between the two teams.
#3 Rahul Tripathi (KKR) 81 off 51 - IPL 2020 (in Abu Dhabi)
Despite his obvious batting talent, Rahul Tripathi has not been a consistent performer in the IPL. Every now and then, though, he comes up with scintillating knocks to remind everyone of his prowess. One such innings came for KKR against CSK in IPL 2020 in Abu Dhabi.
KKR won the toss and elected to bat first. Opening the innings, Tripathi went on an all-out attack against CSK's bowlers, hammering 81 off only 51 balls. His blazing knock featured eight fours and three sixes.
Despite Rahul Tripathi's brilliance, CSK came back well to restrict KKR, as Dwayne Bravo picked up three wickets, while Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur and Karn Sharma claimed two scalps apiece.
Chasing 168 for a win, Shane Watson hit 50 off 40, while Ambati Rayudu scored 30 off 27. The CSK innings, though, lacked momentum, as most of their batsmen struggled to get going. Five KKR bowlers picked up one wicket apiece to stall CSK and restrict them to 157 for 5.
#2 Brendon McCullum (KKR) 81 off 48 - IPL 2009 (in Centurion)
Captaining KKR, Brendon McCullum led from the front as his team aced a tough chase of 189 against CSK in Centurion in IPL 2009. Although KKR lost Sourav Ganguly early for 4, McCullum slammed a stroke-filled 81 off only 48 balls to keep KKR ahead in the game.
McCullum smashed 11 fours and three sixes during his aggressive knock. He also featured in a scintillating second-wicket stand of 90 with Brad Hodge, who contributed an equally brilliant 71 not out off 44 balls. McCullum’s innings ended when he was cleaned up by Shadab Jakati, while going for a slog.
Hodge, however, ensured that his captain's knock would not go in vain, taking KKR home. Wriddhiman Saha also chipped in with an unbeaten 13-ball 25 as KKR won by seven wickets. Lakshmipathy Balaji was the most expensive CSK bowler, conceding 40 runs in three overs.
Earlier, batting first, CSK’s total of 188 for 3 was built around Suresh Raina’s 32-ball 56 and MS Dhoni’s unbeaten 40 off 28 balls. It was a good total, no doubt, but Brendan McCullum made a mockery of the chase with his stupendous hitting.
#1 Michael Hussey (CSK) 95 off 59 - IPL 2013 (in Chennai)
Former Australian batsman Michael Hussey starred with a sublime 95 as CSK got the better of KKR by 14 runs in an IPL 2013 encounter in Chennai. After KKR won the toss and asked CSK to bat first, Hussey came up with a supreme batting display.
Opening the innings, the left-hander dazzled his way to 95 off only 59 balls, hitting 11 fours and two sixes. He looked all set for a well-deserved hundred but perished in the 16th over, lofting Sunil Narine to deep midwicket.
Wriddhiman Saha (39 off 23) and Suresh Raina (44 off 25) chipped in as CSK posted an imposing 200 for 3.
Among KKR bowlers, Jacques Kallis and Lakshmipathy Balaji were punished brutally, going for 50 and 45 runs respectively in their four overs.
KKR gave a valiant chase, courtesy Manvinder Bisla’s combative 92 off 61 balls. He struck 14 fours and two sixes to keep KKR in the hunt. However, he was run out by Michael Hussey, who scored a direct hit from mid-off.
Eoin Morgan tried to keep the fight up for KKR with an unbeaten 32 off 22 balls. However, KKR fell short by 14 runs. Mohit Sharma was the best of the CSK bowlers, conceding only 23 runs in his four overs. He stifled KKR's chase to ensure Michael Hussey’s heroics did not go in vain.