Top five: Highest Kolkata Knight Riders totals in the IPL

NEW DELHI: One of the most fierce competitors in the Indian Premier League, Kolkata Knight Riders have developed into a force to reckon with.With two titles in the competition so far (2012 and 2014), KKR have been one of the top performers in the league and one of the major reasons for their stupendous display has been their ability to put up some big scores.TimesofIndia.com here takes a look at the top five highest totals posted by KKR in the past 12 editions of the competition:245/6 vs Kings XI Punjab in 2018KKR have been one of those teams who have always had the luxury of picking and choosing their batsmen from a wide array of talented players. And riding on that privilege, the franchise on several occasions has blown away the opposition with some terrific batting displays over the years. With a wide pool of domestic and foreign players, KKR have always been one of the best batting units, who have loved to score big. And on one such instance in 2018, their batting unit struck in unison against Kings XI Punjab to put up a massive 245/6 on the board. The score is currently KKR's highest total ever in the IPL and also the fourth highest ever in the tournament's history. In a league match against KXIP, the top five KKR batsmen collaborated in such a way that it completely shattered the Punjab bowling attack. From opener Sunil Narine smacking a blistering 36-ball 75, to Andre Russell belting 31 off just 14 balls, to skipper Dinesh Karthik smoking a 23-ball 50, KKR in that match were just unstoppable. With the help of 24 fours and 15 sixes in the innings, KKR produced their best ever batting performance in the competition. After being stunned by the assault by the KKR batsmen, KXIP recovered well from the trauma to put up a good fight (214/8), but eventually lost the match by 31 runs.232/2 vs Mumbai Indians in 2019It was a disappointing season last year for KKR. Along with not being able to qualify for the playoffs, reports of unrest in the dressing room and within the team made more news than their match results. But even then, there were occasions when the KKR batting looked as sublime as ever. Not worrying about any of the criticism, the KKR batting lineup in one of the late league matches against Mumbai Indians posted a humongous 232/2 on the board. Playing against the eventual winner of the season MI, the KKR batting clicked big time and caught in the line of fire were the MI bowlers. After a breathtaking opening stand between Shubman Gill (76) and Chris Lynn (54) it was Andre Russell, who just went berserk and ended up scoring an unbeaten 80 that came off just 40 balls. The superhuman effort from Russell along with a cameo from skipper Dinesh Karthik towards the end helped KKR post their second highest total ever of 232/2. With 21 fours and 15 sixes, the KKR batsmen entertained their home crowd at the Eden Gardens, destroying the opposition. Riding on a 34-ball 91 from all-rounder Hardik Pandya, MI almost snatched victory from the jaws of defeat though, but eventually fell short by 34 runs.222/3 vs Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2008It was the first ever match of the IPL and no one had any idea of what to expect until Kiwi batsman Brendon McCullum set the stage on fire. Giving cricket's biggest franchise based league a start that could only be dreamt of, McCullum in the tournament opener on April 18 2008, showed the world what the potential of the league truly was in terms of international stars setting the stage on fire. With a blistering 158 not out (which was the highest individual IPL score for a long time), McCullum helped KKR post 222/3 in the inaugural match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their own backyard. The show-stopper of the match was in carnage mode, as he smacked all the RCB bowlers to all corners of the park. During the 73-ball blitzkrieg, McCullum smoked 10 fours and 13 sixes, sparing none of the opposition bowlers. KKR and specially McCullum, that day batted in such a manner that it set the benchmark for other teams in the competition. Shocked to its core by the devastation caused by McCullum, RCB never recovered and surrendered on 88 to hand KKR a huge 140-run win218/4 vs Kings XI Punjab in 2019Although KKR's graph followed a downward trajectory in the second half in the league stage in 2019, in the initial days, the team looked like an unstoppable force. With a strong batting lineup, KKR were ready to take on any opposition on any battlefield. And the franchise looked invincible in their own backyard at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. In just the sixth match of the competition, KKR produced a sensational effort in front of the home fans posting 218/4 against Kings XI Punjab. After being in a precarious position of 36/2, it was the middle order of the team that struck to tear apart the KXIP bowlers. Robin Uthappa (67*) and Nitish Rana (63) first posted a 110-run partnership to take KKR out of trouble and then all-rounder Andre Russell smoked a 17-ball 48 to just take the game away from the opposition in the blink of an eye. With the help of 14 fours and 17 gigantic sixes, KKR managed to get to their fourth highest total ever in the IPL. Although Punjab gave a good fight in the mammoth run chase, the KKR bowlers managed to restrict them to 190/4 at the end of 20 overs206/5 vs Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2019High scoring run chases are a delight to watch in the IPL. And what better place than the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru to host such clashes. There have not been many occasions when RCB have been brought down in their own den. Chinnaswamy has been a fortress for Virat Kohli and Co. and not many teams in the tournament have been able to breach the fortress. But on April 5, 2019, KKR produced a sensational chase to beat RCB. Going after a 206-run target, KKR beautifully set up the chase with the entire batting order striking in unison. A decent start was followed by persistent attempts to close in on the target, KKR batsmen in a phased manner took their run chase forward. And then came the Andre Russell mayhem that completely pushed RCB into a corner. The 13-ball 48 that Russell produced shocked the stadium. Russell helped KKR chase down the mammoth target with five balls remaining and the eventual total of 206/5 also became the team's fifth highest total ever in the IPL. Russell was adjudged Man of the Match.

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