Kolkata: A Yusuf Pathan (pictured) blitzkrieg of 22-ball 72 powered Kolkata Knight Riders to the first qualifier of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as they humbled Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets at the Eden Gardens here yesterday.
Needing to wrap up the game in 15.2 overs to finish second in the league stage over Chennai Super Kings after Sunrisers posted a challenging 160/7, Pathan hit the Challengers like a raging bull, taking away the game single-handedly.
He plundered seven massive sixes and five fours as the home side raced to a winning 161/6 in only 14.2 overs, and would now play the qualifier at the same ground May 27.
Pathan was out in the 14th over caught in the deep but not before making the difficult job seem like a walk in the park. He broke the record for the fastest 50 in the IPL, previously set by Adam Gilchrist.
For the visitors, leggie Karn Sharma ended up figures of 4/38.
The Knights’ openers Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa started off cautiously. With just 26 runs on the board after the fourth over, Gambhir (28; 18b 4x4 1x6) showed his aggressive intent hoiking Jason Holder for a massive six and a four but perished in the same over by dragging the ball on to his stumps.
Meanwhile, orange cap holder Uthappa continued his dream run, picking up some crisp boundaries, but Manish Pandey (2) yet again failed with the bat and was next to go out caught off leggie Sharma.
Uthappa hit two towering sixes and a four, but the boisterous capacity Eden crowd was stunned into silence when he holed out in the deep, trying to hit another biggie of Sharma. The dashing opener scored a 30 ball 41 studded with four boundaries and two sixes. IANS