A Yusuf Pathan blitzkrieg of 22-ball 72 powered Kolkata Knight Riders to the first qualifier of the Indian Premier League as they humbled Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets on Saturday. Yusuf got his 15th Man of the Match award in Twenty20s. His tally of 14 MoM awards in the IPL is bettered only by Chris Gayle - 15. (Highlights)
Yusuf took only 15 balls to score the fastest fifty in the Indian Premier League. He has surpassed the feats of Adam Gilchrist (85 off 35 balls vs Delhi at Centurion on May 22, 2009) and Chris Gayle (175 off 66 balls vs Pune at Bangalore on April 23, 2013). Both had taken 17 balls to reach their respective fifties. (Never seen such an innings: Gambhir)
In the process, Yusuf became the 17th player to complete his 2,000 runs in the IPL - his tally being 2032 (ave.26.73) in 104 matches. Yusuf's strike rate of 327.27 (72 off 22 balls) is the highest by a batsman in the history of the IPL (minimum fifty). (Read: Critics don't know how hard I work: Yusuf)
He rated his 22-ball 72 for Kolkata higher than his 37-ball hundred for the Rajasthan Royals back in 2010 because this one came in a winning cause. "My hundred for the Royals was also a very good innings but if I have to compare, this knock would rate as the best I have ever played. Back then I was run-out and could not win the match for my team, unlike tonight," he said.
Yusuf hit seven huge sixes and therefore took his tally of to 110. The top six-hitters in the IPL being Gayle (192), Raina (126), Rohit (125), Yuvraj (110), Yusuf (110) and Dhoni (106).
Kolkata skipper Gautam Gambhir admitted he had not seen such an innings before. "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," Gambhir said.
Other Statistical highlights:
# Kolkata Knight Riders have won seven games in a row between May 7, 2014 and May 24, 2014 - their best winning sequence in the IPL.
# Kolkata have won three and lost one out of four contested vs Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL - winning % 75.00.
# Shikhar Dhawan (29 off 31 balls) took his run-aggregate in the present competition to 377 (ave.29.00) in 14 matches - the second highest for Sunrisers, next only to David Warner's tally of 528 (ave.48.00) in 14 games.
# Darren Sammy (29 off 19 balls) has posted his highest score in the IPL 2014.
# Naman Ojha's innings of 26 off 23 balls contained five fours and a six - the second highest score in the IPL with only boundaries. Sanath Jayasuriya had made 36 through boundaries against Deccan Chargers at Uppal, Hyderabad on May 18, 2008. He had faced fifteen balls, hitting six fours and two sixes.
# Robin Uthappa has managed 613 runs at an average of 47.15 in 14 matches - the third highest by an Indian batsman in an IPL season, next only to Virat Kohli's 634 (ave.45.28) in sixteen matches in 2013 and Sachin Tendulkar - 618 (ave.47.53) in 15 matches in 2009-10.
# Karn Sharma (4/38) has produced his first four-wicket haul in Twenty20.
(With inputs from Rajesh Kumar)