Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will look to continue their unbeaten run in IPL 2021. They face Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the 10th match of the edition at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai today.
RCB are the only team in the tournament to have won both their games so far. After defeating the Mumbai Indians (MI) in a close encounter, they also dismantled the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) batting with some shrewd bowling.
KKR has experienced mixed fortunes. They put up a solid showing in their first game against SRH to win by 10 runs. However, they choked inexplicably against MI, after having the game well in control during their chase.
In the head-to-head battle between the two sides, KKR have a slender 15-12 lead over RCB after 27 matches.
As RCB and KKR prepare to battle it out in Chennai today, let us take a look at three exceptional batting performances in RCB vs KKR contests.
#3 AB de Villiers (RCB) 73 not out off 33 – IPL 2020 (in Sharjah)
RCB and South Africa legend AB de Villiers played a spectacular innings against KKR in Dubai last season. On a tough batting surface, where even Virat Kohli struggled to get runs, De Villiers demonstrated his genius with a stunning innings.
RCB batted first in this game and, coming in at number four, De Villiers hammered an unbeaten 73 in only 33 balls. The batsman was in a murderous mood and slammed six sixes apart from five fours in the innings. One of the sixes famously landed outside the stadium.
Thanks to De Villiers’ brilliance, RCB ended up posting an impressive 194 for 2 on the board. Aaron Finch contributed 47 from 37, Devdutt Padikkal 32 from 23 while Kohli was unbeaten on 33 from 28. None of them, however, looked in control out in the middle.
When KKR batted, they found it extremely difficult to deal with the challenging surface. They crawled to 112 for 9 in their 20 overs. Shubman Gill top-scored for KKR with 34. For RCB, Chris Morris and Washington Sundar helped themselves to two wickets each.
#2 Chris Gayle (RCB) 102 not out off 55 – IPL 2011 (in Kolkata)
Opening the innings for RCB, Chris Gayle raced away to a 55-ball hundred against KKR in Kolkata in IPL 2011. RCB were set a challenging 172 to win the game. However, a Gayle storm made the chase a breeze for RCB.
The big-hitting left-hander struck seven sixes and 10 fours in his innings as RCB romped home by nine wickets.
With one needed to win off two overs, Gayle launched Shakib Al Hasan over cover to complete a well-deserved hundred.
Lakshmipathy Balaji had to bear the brunt of Gayle’s assault, going for 43 in his four overs. Rajat Bhatia went for 28 in his three while Shakib conceded 29 in 2.1 overs. No KKR bowler could make any impression on Gayle on the day.
Earlier, KKR’s total of 171 for 5 was built around 40s from Jacques Kallis, Gautam Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan. At the halfway stage, it seemed a challenging total. But with Gayle in his element, it proved to be way too little.
#1 Brendon McCullum (KKR) 158 not out off 73 – IPL 2008 (in Bengaluru)
Exactly on this day (April 18) in 2008, former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum got the IPL off to a sensational start. In the first ever IPL match, McCullum blasted an unbeaten 158 in only 73 balls, batting for KKR against RCB.
The Bangalore bowlers were sent on a leather hunt as McCullum, in an unforgiving mood, clobbered 13 sixes and 10 fours in his incredible knock.
In a wonderful exhibition of clean hitting, McCullum kept attacking the bowlers from start to finish, and found the boundaries with ease.
McCullum’s dominance was evident from the fact that the next best score for KKR in the match was 20 from Ricky Ponting.
Jacques Kallis was the most expensive of the RCB bowlers, going for 48 in his four. Ashley Noffke conceded 40 in his four while Zaheer Khan and Praveen Kumar were carted for 38 each.
KKR ended up posting a mammoth 222 for 3. RCB crumbled under the pressure of a massive score and folded up for 82 in 15.1 overs. Ajit Agarkar claimed three wickets for KKR while Ashok Dinda and Sourav Ganguly chipped in with two each.