Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Yusuf Pathan blitzed his way to the fastest Indian Premier League (IPL) half-century to burn the Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets at Eden Gardens.
While Pathan’s mind-blowing feat captured all the limelight, Hyderabad spinner Karn Sharma deserves a lot of credit as well as he took four wickets.
Kolkata captain Gautam Gambhir would have been pleased with his decision to bowl first after Hyderabad opener David Warner was clean bowled by Morne Morkel for four runs.
Shikhar Dhawan and Naman Ojha made up for the early loss of Warner with a 64-run partnership before Ojha was caught and bowled by Ryan ten Doeschate for 26.
Dhawan ended up making 29 runs before he was run out by Manish Pandey.
Venugopal Rao managed to make 27 runs before he was also run out by Pandey.
Srikkanth Anirudha only made three runs before he was stumped by Robin Uthappa off the bowling of Shakib Al Hasan.
Jason Holder made a quickfire 16 before he was run out by Uthappa.
Hyderabad skipper Darren Sammy scored a much-needed 29 before he was caught by Al Hasan off the bowling of Vinay Kumar.
Hyderabad eventually finished on 160/7 off their 20 overs.
Morkel, Vinay Kumar, Al Hasan and ten Doeschate picked up one wicket apiece.
Chasing 161 to win, Kolkata got off to a solid start as Gambhir and Uthappa amassed a 43-run partnership before Gambhir was clean bowled by Holder for 28.
Pandey only made two runs before he was caught by Dale Steyn at long-on off the bowling of Sharma.
Uthappa went on to score 41 off 30 balls, which included four boundaries and two sixes, before he was caught by Holder at long-on off the bowling of Sharma.
Kolkata lost another wicket just two balls later when ten Doeschate was run out by Ojha for a golden duck.
Al Hasan fared no better as he was caught by Holder at long-off off the bowling of Sharma.
Pathan started to go ballistic from this point on as he only took 15 balls to surge to the fastest half-century in IPL history.
Pathan continued to entertain the Eden Gardens crowd after surpassing his half-century, but the fun came to an end when he was caught by Dhawan at deep midwicket to become Sharma’s fourth victim of the match.
Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pathan’s record-breaking knock of 72 came off just 22 balls and included five boundaries and an incredible seven sixes.
Thanks to Pathan’s unbelievable innings, Kolkata reached their target with more than five overs to spare.
Sharma was the most successful bowler with four wickets, while Holder claimed one.
Sammy was still in shock at what he had just witnessed, and said: “I wish I could hit like that. Credit to Yusuf. Phenomenal hitting. We’ve not been consistently good enough this tournament.”
Gambhir praised Pathan for his amazing knock, and said: “I have never seen this sort of innings in my career, unbelievable hitting, I can only dream of it, but I saw it in reality. We always wanted to finish it in 15.2 overs, this is what we play cricket for. We didn’t start well up front, we dropped some crucial catches, but this is not the time to talk about negatives, I have never seen such an innings.”
Pathan was named Man of the Match, and said: “I hit form at the right time. It feels great when the ball hits the middle of the bat and travels a long way. My hundred for Rajasthan was a good knock but I got run-out and we couldn’t win the match, but this time we won, this feels like my best innings.”