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When Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa added 121 for the first wicket in the chase against Rajasthan Royals, it was way more than what the team would have expected from their opening pair. In 103 previous matches, no KKR opening pair had ever added so many; there were only two previous century stands - the highest being 113 - and the aggregate of nine previous opening partnerships for KKR had been a grand total of 99.
So, when Gambhir and Uthappa put together 121 in 14 overs in a chase of 171, KKR would have been fairly confident of the following batsmen managing the remaining 50 runs in six overs. As it transpired, the record opening partnership was only a precursor to a record collapse, as KKR lost six wickets for two runs, the worst six-wicket collapse in the IPL. The collapse included Pravin Tambe's hat-trick, and KKR never recovered from the shock.
The table below lists the worst six-wicket collapses in the IPL, and this one takes the top position by some distance. The next two are instances of teams losing six wickets for seven runs, but those are both lower-order collapses, when teams lost their last six wickets cheaply. A similar top-order crash was seen in the 2011 IPL game between Deccan Chargers and Kochi Tuskers, when Kochi, chasing only 130 for victory, slumped to 11 for 6 and were eventually bowled out for 74. Among the batsmen who succumbed during that collapse were Brendon McCullum, Mahela Jayawardene and Brad Hodge.
Of the nine matches in which teams lost six wickets for 12 runs or fewer in the IPL, eight ended in defeat for the team that collapsed. The only exception was Mumbai Indians, who chased a target of 174 against Chennai Super Kings despite going from 147 for 2 to 159 for 8.
|Kolkata Knight Riders||1 to 6||121 for 1||123 for 6||2 for 6||Rajasthan Royals (2014)||Lost by 10 runs|
|Rajasthan Royals||5 to 10||85 for 5||92 all out||7 for 6||Royal Challengers Bangalore (2010)||Lost by 10 wkts|
|Pune Warriors||5 to 10||101 for 5||108 all out||7 for 6||Sunrisers Hyderabad (2013)||Lost by 11 runs|
|Deccan Chargers||5 to 10||150 for 5||161 all out||11 for 6||Delhi Daredevils (2009)||Lost by 12 runs|
|Kochi Tuskers Kerala||1 to 6||0 for 1||11 for 6||11 for 6||Deccan Chargers (2011)||Lost by 55 runs|
|Mumbai Indians||3 to 8||147 for 3||159 for 8||12 for 6||Chennai Super Kings (2012)||Won by 2 wkts|
|Deccan Chargers||4 to 9||149 for 4||161 for 9||12 for 6||Delhi Daredevils (2009)||Lost by 12 runs|
|Mumbai Indians||5 to 10||96 for 5||108 all out||12 for 6||Kolkata Knight Riders (2012)||Lost by 32 runs|
|Rajasthan Royals||5 to 10||105 for 5||117 all out||12 for 6||Royal Challengers Bangalore (2013)||Lost by 7 wickets|
S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstatsFeeds: S Rajesh
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Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.