Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday their first Indian Premier League (IPL)IPL) finals since 2014. Eoin Morgan will be hoping to end KKR’s seven-year wait for the title when the team takes on Chennai Super Kings on Friday. CSK are playing their ninth IPL final thanks to the shrewd captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. This is KKR’s third IPL final after 2012 and 2014. But how did KKR perform in their last two appearances?
2012 IPL Final
Under the captaincy of Gautam Gambhir, KKR entered their first IPL final in 2012. Like this year, KKR faced Dhoni’s CSK in the title clash of the fifth edition of the tournament. Knight Riders went into the competition as underdogs with two-time champions CSK playing in their fourth final in five years.
Batting first, CSK openers Michael Hussey (54) and Murali Vijay (42) gave the team a good start. Suresh Raina, who came down one, did not miss the opportunity as his explosive knock of 73 off 38 balls ensured a massive 190. KKR’s star bowler Brett Lee was dismissed for 42 runs in his four overs.
Chasing a huge total, KKR suffered an early blow when Gambhir went back for just two runs. However, openers Manvinder Bisla (89) and Jacques Kallis (69) made a much-needed partnership. Last minute sensibility from Shakib Al Hasan and Manoj Tiwary took the team across the finishing line with two balls to spare. And KKR won their first IPL trophy.
2014 IPL Final
KKR made a comeback in 2014 after a not so good season in 2013. This time, Gambhir’s men were pitted against Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in the final. Like in 2012, KKR were left to chase down the big target when KXIP smashed a mammoth 199 on the back of Wriddhiman Saha’s maiden century.
It was all 2012 vibes when KKR lost their opener long back. Gambhir stabilized the innings by scoring 23 runs in 17 balls. It was Manish Pandey’s heroism that took KKR close to the finishing line. But he was dismissed for 94 when the team needed only 30 runs with 20 balls to spare. Yusuf Pathan’s quick knock of 36 off 22 balls, and Piyush Chawla’s 13* proved to be enough for KKR to lift their second IPL trophy.
2021 IPL Final
It took seven years for KKR to make it to the IPL final. KKR have solid spinners in Sunil Narine and Varun Chakraborty and a good batting lineup as well. It will be interesting to see how it plays out against Dhoni’s CSK when the two teams face off for the Dussehra tie on Friday.