It's been 10 years since Kolkata Knight Riders first made a place in your heart with a superlative show on the opening day of the Indian Premier League in 2008.
As we continue this special journey, here is a look back at our top 10 wins in the IPL over the last nine seasons. Enjoy the ride!
The IPL had a dream beginning as a Brendon McCullum muscled his way to an unbeaten 158 off 73 balls, helping KKR put up an imposing 3/222. In reply, RCB wilted under pressure, shot out for 82 in 15.1 overs
Despite being knocked out of the tournament, KKR finished the inaugural season on a high with a come-from-behind victory over table-toppers KXIP. Chasing 175 for a win, it all seemed a lost cause for the Knights at 6/106. However skipper Sourav Ganguly, came into his own with an unbeaten 86 off 53 balls thereby giving the legion of Eden fans something to cheer about.
This game presented KKR with a very unique situation. In what is still the only time in their history, majority of the Eden Gardens crowd was against the home side. After all the opposition had a certain Sourav Ganguly in their line up! DADA had returned for his first game at Eden after parting ways with KKR in 2010. However the manner in which Gambhir and Co withstood the pressure from the 'home-crowd' meant that this win over PWI was a special one.
KKR has always been at the receiving end of a boisterous and partisan Mumbai crowd at Wankhede. For four seasons, the Purple Brigade had always fallen short of expectations while playing at Mumbai. However, that story changed in 2012 after we managed to defend a not so big score of 140 brilliantly. Sunil Narine, with figures of 4/15, ensured that Mumbai Indians were bowled out for 108. This 32-run win ensured that KKR booked their spot in the playoffs for the second successive year.
To beat CSK in their own at their den in a final was a gigantic task. And after conceding 3/190 and losing skipper Gautam Gambhir in the first over, that task seemed impossible! However no one was going to deny the Knights this time around. Manvinder Bisla played a dream innings with an 89 off 48 balls and Jacques Kallis anchored the ship with a 49-ball 69. Despite a few tense moments at the end, Manoj Tiwary ensured that KKR were IPL champions of 2012 with successive boundaries in the final over.
With a win and loss in their first 2 games, KKR ended up with a less than impressive 7/150 in their third game at Sharjah. This total seemed completely inadequate when 9 runs were required off the final over and RCB had 6 wickets in hand. Not to forget, AB de Villiers was one of the batsmen at the crease. However Vinay Kumar bowled what can easily be described as one of the greatest final overs in IPL history, to restrict the Bangalore outfit to only 6 runs. Chris Lynn's wonder effort at deep mid wicket to end de Villiers' innings remains etched in the memory of every cricket lover.
The season seemed all but over for KKR at the halfway stage with 2 wins in 7 games. But the purple brigade rallied around, winning the next 4 games on the trot. With their last 3 games scheduled at Eden Gardens, only a brave man would have voted against KKR not being able to make it the playoffs. Up against Chennai Super Kings in their first match at home, KKR produced an inspired show restricting the power-packed Chennai line-up to a managable 4/154. The highlight in KKR's bowling effort was Pat Cummins dismissing Dwayne Smith bowled, with a delivery that can easily be described as one of the best deliveries in IPL history. Robin Uthappa (67 in 39 balls)and Gautam Gambhir then continued their superlative run with the bat ensuring that the match was wrapped up with 2 overs to spare. This was KKR's fifth consecutive win on the trot
While KKR were assured of a playoffs spot before their final league game against SRH, victory over the visitors inside 15 overs would ensure KKR a top 2 finish, thereby giving them two shots of making it to the final. However with SRH posting 7/160 on a turning Eden track, victory for KKR seemed out of bounds at 4/78 in the 10th over. Enter Yusuf Pathan! The allrounder recorded the fastest fifty in IPL history, smashing 72 off a meagre 22 balls. The highlight of this innings came in the 13th over against Dale Steyn. The sequence was 4, 6, 6, 4, 4, 2. Victory came in the 15th over, thereby ensuring KKR a top-two finish. This was the team's 7th win on the trot.
KR had made their way to the final, beating KXIP in the first qualifier at Kolkata. The Punjab side then went on to beat CSK at Mumbai in the second qualifier. This was the fourth battle between these 2 sides in IPL 2014 edition. Just like the 2012 final, KKR bowled first and their opponents finished their innings at 4/199. In an encore of the 2012 edition, the Purple brigade found their Knight for the big evening as Manish Pandey smashed his way to 94 in 50 balls. The match was delicately poised in the penultimate over with 11 runs required off 7 balls for KKR. At this moment, an inspired Piyush Chawla hooked Mitchell Johnson into the stands for a six. Just like the 2012 final, victory was achieved in the final over and KKR were crowned IPL champions for the second time in three years.
KKR have been one of the most consistent teams in IPL over the last few years, thanks to the presence of an abundance of all-rounders. And Yusuf Pathan and Andre Russell top that list! These two T20 superstars came to the foray yet again, chasing a stiff 186 for victory against RCB. At 4/69 in the 11th over, the dynamic duo got together against a mounting required rate. Pathan, unbeaten 60 in 29 balls and Russell 39 in 24 balls smashed 96 in the next 44 balls thereby ensuring that KKR had a great night.
So which one was your favourite?