Yusuf Pathan stole the show as Kolkata Knight Riders romped to victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad in their final IPL group game by four wickets, sealing second spot in the table in the process.
They needed a resounding win to ensure their passage—it looked like a lost cause when Hyderabad batted first and posted 160-7 in their 20 overs.
Kolkata made a bright start in the chase, but not quick enough to win the game—until Pathan stormed into action with a 22-ball innings of 72, including the fastest half-century in the history of the IPL.
It meant they reached the total in just 14.2 overs.
With seven wins in a row, the Kolkata Knight Riders now meet Kings XI Punjab in the first qualifier.
|Sunrisers Hyderabad Scorecard|
|David Warner||b Morne Morkel||4||2||200.00||1||0|
|Shikhar Dhawan||run out (Manish Pandey)||29||31||93.54||5||0|
|Naman Ojha||c & b Ryan ten Doeschate||26||23||113.04||5||1|
|Venugopal Rao||run out (Manish Pandey)||27||26||103.84||4||0|
|Darren Sammy||c Shakib Al Hasan b Vinay Kumar||29||19||152.63||1||3|
|Srikkanth Anirudha||st Robin Uthappa b Shakib Al Hasan||3||5||60.00||0||0|
|Jason Holder||run out (Robin Uthappa)||16||12||133.33||2||1|
|Karan Sharma||NOT OUT||5||2||250.00||1||0|
|Parveez Rasool||NOT OUT||0||0||0.00||0||0|
|EXTRAS||(w 8, lb 13)||21|
|TOTAL||(7 wickets; 20 overs)||160|
|Ryan ten Doeschate||1||7||1||7.00||4|
|Shakib Al Hasan||4||25||1||6.25||12|
There were no stand-out performances from the Sunrisers with the bat—but Shikhar Dhawan, Naman Ojha, Venugopal Rao and Darren Sammy all notched quick scores in the twenties to prop the total up.
Their total meant the game itself was finely balanced—although Hyderabad also knew a win was essential to keep them in the chase for a play-off spot.
|Kolkata Knight Riders Scorecard|
|Robin Uthappa||c Jason Holder b Karan Sharma||41||30||136.66||4||2|
|Gautam Gambhir||b Jason Holder||28||18||155.55||4||1|
|Manish Pandey||c Dale Steyn b Karan Sharma||2||7||28.57||0||0|
|Yusuf Pathan||c Shikhar Dhawan b Karan Sharma||72||22||327.27||5||7|
|Ryan ten Doeschate||run out (Darren Sammy)||0||1||0.00||0||0|
|Shakib Al Hasan||c Jason Holder b Karan Sharma||1||5||20.00||0||0|
|Suryakumar Yadav||NOT OUT||12||5||240.00||1||1|
|Vinay Kumar||NOT OUT||0||0||0.00||0||0|
|EXTRAS||(nb 2, w 2, lb 1)||5|
|TOTAL||(6 wickets; 14.2 overs)||161|
As Robin Uthappa struck a confident 41 to cement his position as the tournament's top run-scorer, the game slipped out of Hyderabad's hands.
So too did the ball—the Sunrisers were slack in the field, and it hurt them.
But nothing prepared fans for the onset of Pathan.
He smashed Dale Steyn for 26 in a single over, reaching 50 from 15 balls in the process.
Suddenly, the second spot in the table looked achievable—and though he fell with the total in sight, his team made it over the line.