Both PBKS and KKR have massively underwhelmed in the tournament this season. While PBKS are fifth in the league table, winning two of their five games, KKR are languishing at the bottom of the points table, thanks to a solitary victory in five matches.
In their last game, PBKS had a morale-boosting win over Mumbai Indians (MI), beating the defending champions by nine wickets. KKR, though, continued their losing spree, going down to Rajasthan Royals by six wickets.
In their head-to-head battle, KKR have a massive 18-9 advantage over PBKS. Last season though, KKR and PBKS split their two meetings. Ahead of tonight’s clash between the two teams, let’s look back at three of the most memorable batting performances in PBKS vs KKR matches over the years.
#3 Sunil Narine (KKR) 75 off 36 - IPL 2018 (in Indore)
In the first few years of the IPL, Sunil Narine made a name for himself as the mystery king with the ball. However, as his magic with the ball wore off, he developed his batting and turned into a reasonable slogger.
One of his most destructive knocks with the willow came against PBKS in Indore during the 2018 IPL. Opening the innings, Narine hammered a blazing 75 off only 36 balls, hitting nine fours and four sixes.
The unorthodox left-hander was extremely severe on Ravichandran Ashwin and Barinder Sran; Ashwin conceded 36 in 2.4 overs, while Sran went for 48 in his three.
Narine could easily have got a hundred had he batted on for a while longer. However, on 75, he top-edged a short ball from Andrew Tye and was caught behind.
Dinesh Karthik contributed a half-century off 23 balls as KKR posted an imposing 245 for 6 on the board. For PBKS, KL Rahul whacked 66 off 29, while Ashwin smashed 45 off 22. However, the chasing side could only manage 214 for 8.
#2 Mahela Jayawardene (PBKS) 110 not out off 59 - IPL 2010 (in Kolkata)
The legendary Mahela Jayawardene played a number of fabulous knocks during his illustrious career. He tasted some success in the IPL as well. While playing for PBKS against KKR in IPL 2010, Jayawardene caressed his way to an unbeaten century in Kolkata.
Set an imposing 201 for victory, PBKS romped home with ten balls and eight wickets in hand, thanks to Jayawardene’s imperious knock. Jayawardene eased his way to an unbeaten 110 off only 59 balls, hitting 14 fours and three sixes.
Jayawardene took on the likes of Jaydev Unadkat, Murali Kartik and Angelo Mathews and came up trumps. Unadkat ended up conceding 32 in his 2.2 overs, while Kartik went for 41 in his four. None of the KKR bowlers could make any sort of impact on Jayawardene as he guided PBKS towards an impressive win.
Jayawardene found able support from Kumar Sangakkara (38 off 32) and Yuvraj Singh (33 not out off 16) in PBKS' chase. For KKR, Chris Gayle’s 42-ball 88 went in vain. The left-hander's brutal knock had lifted his team to 200 for 3, but Jayawardene outshone the Universe Boss with aplomb on the day.
#1 Manish Pandey (KKR) 94 off 50 - IPL 2014 Final (in Bengaluru)
Manish Pandey may be struggling for runs at the moment for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Back in 2014, though, he was the hero for KKR, playing a stellar match-winning knock in the final against PBKS in Bengaluru.
KKR were set to chase an imposing target of 200 to win the IPL 2014 final. Coming in at no. 3, Pandey blazed away to 94 off only 50 deliveries in a belligerent innings studded with seven fours and six sixes.
Although KKR lost Robin Uthappa (5) and Gautam Gambhir (23) early, Pandey never allowed the required run-rate to spiral out of control during the chase. He featured in a significant third-wicket stand of 71 with Yusuf Pathan (36 off 22) to bring the KKR innings back on track.
Most of the PBKS bowlers suffered in the wake of Pandey’s onslaught. The KKR batsman was especially severe on Karanveer Singh and Parvinder Awana, who conceded 54 and 43 in four and 3.3 overs, respectively.
KKR eventually got home in 19.3 overs, with three wickets in hand. Pandey’s heroics meant Wriddhiman Saha’s unbeaten 115 off 55 balls for PBKS earlier in the day went in vain.