While PBKS are fifth in the points table, with two wins from five games, KKR are languishing at the bottom, winning only one of their five matches.
PBKS are high on confidence after upsetting defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) by nine wickets in their previous game. Meanwhile, KKR lost a great opportunity to register two points, going down to the struggling Rajasthan Royals by six wickets.
KKR have a significant 18-9 head-to-head lead over PBKS. Last season, though, the two franchises shared the spoils in their two meetings. With PBKS and KKR set to renew acquaintances in Ahmedabad tonight, let's take a look at three of the most impressive bowling efforts in games between the two teams.
#3 Sandeep Sharma (PBKS) 3 for 21 - IPL 2014 (in Abu Dhabi)
Medium-pacer Sandeep Sharma has been an unsung hero for multiple franchises in the IPL over the years. Back in 2014, he was a star performer for PBKS with the ball, helping his team successfully defend a modest total of 132 against KKR in Abu Dhabi.
PBKS needed to strike early to stay in the game. They did just that, thanks to Sharma trapping Manish Pandey (8) lbw with a beautiful in-dipper that beat the batsman’s defence. Sharma then dismissed KKR captain Gautam Gambhir for 1 when the left-hander slashed a length ball straight to short extra cover.
Sharma’s third wicket in the match was the clincher. Even as KKR were losing wickets at one end, Suryakumar Yadav kept up the fight for them with a counter-attacking 34 off 17. Sharma, though, ended Yadav's blitz, having him caught at cover off a short ball.
Apart from Sharma, Mitchell Johnson and Axar Patel chipped in with two wickets apiece as PBKS rolled over KKR for 109 in 18.2 overs. Earlier, Virender Sehwag top-scored with 37 for PBKS to give them something to bowl at. Sharma and co then turned a fighting total into a match-winning one.
#2 Andre Russell (KKR) 4 for 20 - IPL 2016 (in Kolkata)
KKR all-rounder Andre Russell is better known for his big-hitting prowess in the IPL. But he has also come up with match-winning efforts with his under-utilized medium pace as well. In the ongoing edition of the competition, he claimed 5 for 15 against MI, albeit in a losing cause.
In a match against PBKS in Kolkata in IPL 2016, Russell came up with a game-changing performance with the ball. Thanks to Russell's fabulous figures of 4 for 20, KKR successfully defended a total of 164.
Russell dealt PBKS with a massive blow in the first over itself, having the dangerous Marcus Stoinis caught at mid-off for a duck. Manan Vohra (0) then perished to a short ball from Russell, miscuing to deep backward square.
The KKR pacer returned at the death to claim two more crucial wickets. David Miller (13) guided a full toss straight to long-on, while Swapnil Singh (0) was trapped in front of the stumps with a yorker. Thanks to Russell’s excellent bowling, PBKS were restricted to 157 for 9 in their allotted 20 overs.
Piyush Chawla (2 for 27) was the other key performer for KKR with the ball. Earlier, batting first, KKR’s competitive total of 164 for 3 was built around Robin Uthappa’s 70 and Gautam Gambhir’s 54.
#1 Sunil Narine (KKR) 5 for 19 - IPL 2012 (in Kolkata)
At the peak of his career, Sunil Narine, as a mystery spinner, was virtually unplayable. He bamboozled many strong batting line-ups with his variations. Narine’s best IPL figures of 5 for 19 came against PBKS in Kolkata during the competition's 2012 edition.
After KKR fielded first on winning the toss, Narine wreaked havoc. He struck early by having Adam Gilchrist (5) caught off a top edge at cover. He then cleaned up Shaun Marsh (1) with one that spun back in and went through the batsman's gate.
Narine returned at the death to clean up the tail. Bipul Sharma (12) was caught behind off a delivery that turned viciously. Praveen Kumar (0) played inside the line of a length delivery to be cleaned up comprehensively. Narine had his fifth when Harmeet Singh (14) scooped one straight to the keeper.
Thanks to Narine’s exploits, KKR held PBKS to 134 for 9 in their allotted 20 overs. KKR stumbled to 88 for 6 in their chase as Piyush Chawla and Bhargav Bhatt claimed three and two scalps, respectively. However, a mature innings by Debabrata Das (35 not out) guided KKR home by three wickets.