Opening partnerships hold the key in the game of cricket. They become even more crucial when it comes to big run chases as it is the opening stand that sets the tone for the side. But given the uncertainty the shortest format of the game brings with it, teams seem to suffer despite getting off to a good start.
On many occasions, teams have faltered despite getting off to rollicking starts thanks to their destructive openers. As we discuss such botched run chases, let’s take a look at such instances in our very own Indian Premier League (IPL). Here are the highest opening partnerships in run chases coming in defeats in the history of the cash-rich league.
Highest opening partnerships in run chases coming in defeats
Gautam Gambhir – Robin Uthappa v RR
The 25th match of IPL 2014 saw Rajasthan Royals pull off a miraculous victory against the Kolkata Knight Riders. Having posted 170 runs batting first, RR found themselves in all sorts of troubles as the opposition got off to a rollicking start. KKR openers Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa put up a 121 run stand.
While many thought that RR was down and out as the opposition rushed to 120 in the 14th over. In the very next over, the resurgence of the Royals started as they scalped three wickets in a single over. That is where the game turned as KKR ended up falling short of the target by 10 runs.
KL Rahul – Mayank Agarwal v RR
Rajasthan Royals pulled off yet another miraculous win in the IPL. The 32nd match of IPL 2021 saw RR take on Punjab Kings. The Royals got off to a rollicking start but were skittled out for just 185. Put to chase, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal gave PBKS the perfect start as they rushed to a 120 run stand in just 12 overs.
As the Kings looked set for an easy win, RR bounced back as Chetan Sakariya sent a well-set KL Rahul back to the hut. Mayank Agarwal’s wicket followed which say Aiden Markram and Nicholas Pooran take charge of the run chase. PBKS needed only four runs from the final over when Kartik Tyagi scalped two wickets conceding just a single run to tea his side over the line.
KL Rahul – Mayank Agarwal v KKR
Punjab Kings yet again found themselves guilty of yet another botched run chase. This time it was Kolkata Knight Riders who snatched a win from under the Kings’ nose. Chasing a modest 164, the duo of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal gave PBKS, then Kings XI Punjab the perfect start with a 115 run opening stand.
But they faltered in the final overs as Prasidh Krishna and Sunil Narine stepped up in the death to get their side over the line. The Punjab middle-order yet again faltered as they fell two runs short of the target. It seems like the Punjab middle-order always finds a way to let their openers down.