In the 18th match of IPL 2021, Rajasthan Royals (RR) will take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai tonight. Both RR and KKR are in the same boat, having managed one solitary win from four matches so far.
Meanwhile, KKR also went down in their previous outing, losing to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by 18 runs. They suffered an embarrassing batting collapse, getting reduced to 31-5, but almost pulled off a heist in a tall chase, thanks to a lower-order blitzkrieg.
In their head-to-head record against RR, KKR enjoy a slender 12-10 advantage. The two-time champions won both clashes between the two teams last season.
With RR and KKR getting ready to lock horns in Mumbai tonight, let's take a look at three of the memorable bowling performances in matches between the two teams over the years.
#3 James Faulkner (RR) 3 for 11 - IPL 2014 (in Abu Dhabi)
On his birthday, left-arm pacer James Faulkner claimed 3 for 11 in two overs as RR and KKR featured in a thrilling tied game in Abu Dhabi during the 2014 edition of the IPL. The Super Over played between the two teams was also tied, following which RR were declared winners on the boundary count rule.
Chasing 153 for victory, KKR needed only 16 runs from the last two overs with six wickets in hand. Faulkner, however, swung the match on its head, claiming three wickets in the 19th over.
On the first ball of the over, Faulkner had Suryakumar Yadav (31) caught at long-off. Later in the over, Robin Uthappa and Vinay Kumar were both cleaned up off consecutive deliveries, failing to pick up Faulkner’s well-disguised slower ones.
KKR managed to tie the game by taking 11 off the last over bowled by Kane Richardson. However, RR eventually emerged victorious on the boundary count rule. Earlier, batting first, RR put up 152 for 5 on the board, with Ajinkya Rahane top-scoring with 72 off 59 balls, hitting six fours and a six.
In response, KKR seemed to be cruising at 137 for 4 before birthday boy Faulkner’s magic floored them.
#2 Pat Cummins (KKR) 4 for 34 - IPL 2020 (in Dubai)
KKR pacer Pat Cummins did not have a great season for the franchise in IPL 2020. He was constantly under the spotlight after being the most expensive purchase at last year’s auction.
However, Cummins did star with the ball in an encounter against RR in Dubai. The Australian claimed 4 for 34 as KKR defended a target of 192 with ease, winning the match by 60 runs. Cummins struck in the very first over when Robin Uthappa’s pick-up shot found deep backward square leg.
Ben Stokes (18) then edged a drive and was brilliantly caught by wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik, who dived to his left. Cummins also consumed RR captain Steve Smith (4) when his compatriot dragged a ball from outside off onto his stumps.
Cummins had his fourth when Riyan Parag (0) was dismissed caught behind off a short ball. RR had crumbled to 37 for 5 in their chase and eventually finished on 131 for 9. Jos Buttler (35) and Rahul Tewatia (31) were the only RR batsmen to put up some resistance.
Earlier, KKR captain Eoin Morgan smashed an unbeaten 68 off only 35 balls as the two-time champions posted an impressive 191 for 7, batting first. Cummins then proved his worth as a match-winning bowler.
#1 Kuldeep Yadav (KKR) 4 for 20 - IPL 2018 (in Kolkata)
Left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav may be struggling to find a place in the KKR starting XI at the moment. Back in 2018, though, he was considered a genuine match-winner, owing to his varied bowling skills.
Yadav claimed excellent figures of 4 for 20 as KKR trounced RR by six wickets in an IPL 2018 game in Kolkata. KKR bowled first after winning the toss, and Yadav’s brilliance saw RR getting rolled over for a modest 142 in 19 overs.
Kuldeep Yadav first cleaned up Ajinkya Rahane (11) with a googly when the batsman made a hash of a reverse sweep. The left-arm spinner then got rid of the in-form Jos Buttler (39). The RR wicketkeeper-batsman also attempted a reverse sweep but only managed to find short third man.
Stuart Binny (1) was completely clueless against a Yadav googly. He was beaten comprehensively and stumped. The left-arm spinner had his fourth of the game when Ben Stokes (11) chipped one straight back to the bowler.
Prasidh Krishna and Andre Russell also picked up two wickets apiece as RR's innings floundered rather badly. In KKR’s chase of 143, Chris Lynn (45) and Dinesh Karthik (41 not out) made significant contributions as the team crossed the finish line in 18 overs, with six wickets in hand.