When it comes to a competitive friction between teams in the Indian Premier League, two sides
instantly come to mind – Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab.
The rivalry between KKR and KXIP is not only on the field but also off it. With the two teams
being owned by renowned Bollywood superstars, Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta, the spark
between them goes a notch up.
The First Game
The first blood was drawn by Punjab in the 2008 IPL. They won the toss and elected to bat first,
and were restricted to a defendable IPL score of 178.
The match was in Kolkata’s hands to win, but unfortunately, the batsmen couldn't really reach
the total. Punjab bowlers Sreesanth and Irfan Pathan were exceptional on the day, taking two
wickets each and crippling the KKR batting lineup.
On 4th April 2010, in a match held in Kolkata’s home-ground, these two teams got off to a
heated start. Electing to bat first after winning the toss, Kolkata Knight Riders scored a hefty 200
in 20 overs. Hardly did Kolkata know that Punjab’s Mahela Jayawardene had other plans as he
thrashed KKR, scoring a 110 not out in just 59 deliveries. Kings XI won the match comfortably
with a 8 wicket margin.
However, it was during the 2014 IPL final held at Bangalore’s M. Chinnaswamy Stadium which
balanced things out for the two. Punjab, who got to bat first, clearly had all the intentions to spoil
KKR’s party yet again with a whopping 199 runs on the board. Wriddhiman Saha, who scored
115 from 55 balls was the main catalyst in their batting lineup.
Surprisingly for the Mohali based team, KKR showed tough character and chased the total,
making 200 in 19.3 overs with three wickets in hand to win their second IPL title. A young
Manish Pandey made a huge contribution by scoring 94 in 50 balls.
Everyone had their eyes on the 2017 IPL match between Kolkata and Punjab. With 11 games
already played, Kings XI were unbeaten in the league but KKR were not going to make it a cake
Winning the toss, KKR chose to bowl restricted Punjab to 170. In reply, KKR captain Gautam
Gambhir helped the team win by making 72 runs. KKR’s spin bowler Sunil Narine had an
economy of 4.75 with a wicket to his name and had also contributed 37 runs off just 18 balls.
Since the beginning of the IPL back in 2008, these two titans have clashed 21 times, with KKR
getting the better of KXIP, with 14 matches won having a win rate of 66.66 percent.
With the changes in the current line up it will be interesting to see the matchup between these
two teams in the upcoming 2018 IPL.
Players from both the teams have won the Orange Cap once each, while they are yet to lay
their hands on the purple cap.