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26th-May-2014

Yusuf Pathan blitz eliminates SRH

By Agency

Yusuf Pathan sent Sunrisers Hyderabad into submission and Kolkata Knigh Riders to No. 2 on the points table with a stunning display of batsmanship that saw him score the fastest fifty in IPL history in just 15 balls to chase down SRH's 161 in just 14.2 overs at the Eden Gardens on Saturday.
Kolkata needed to reach the target in 15.2 overs to topple Chennai Super Kings from the second spot, but Yusuf Pathan's 72 off 22 balls, including 7 sixes and 5 fours, finished the game six balls earlier than that.
The win will now allow KKR to play the Qualifier 1 against table-toppers Kings XI Punjab at their homeground the Eden Gardens on May 27.
Incidentally, this was also Kolkata's seventh win in a row this season. Chennai will now face either Mumbai Indians or Rajasthan Royals in the Eliminator. Hyderabad have bowled out of the race after Saturday's defeat.
Pathan came in to bat with KKR score a wobbly 78/4 in 9.4 overs, but once dropped by Dale Steyn, he hammered the South African for 26 runs in an over which brought KRR back and set the tone for a famous 4-wicket win.
Leading run-getter Robin Uthappa (41) and Gautam Gambhir (28) set up the chase before Yusuf's blitz. Yusuf was on his way back to dug out before he could open his account after hitting straight to midwicket fielder Anirudha, who dropped the sitter.
It would have been a second wicket in the Karn Sharma's over after the leggie dismissed Manish Pandey but the breather turned around KKR's fortunes as they were reeling 78/4 in 9.4 overs after Uthappa (41) and Ten Doeschate were dismissed in the same over. Yusuf made his intention clear in the next over when he slammed Parvez Rasool one six and a boundary and even got a second life when Steyn dropped him at the square leg boundary, that went over the rope.
The J&K spinner leaked 22 runs in that over. Steyn had to bear the brunt of dropping Yusuf as the biggest onslaught from the Baroda hitter came only against the South African speedster who conceded 26 runs in his last over with two sixes and three fours.
Such was Yusuf's fury that he made the world's no 1 bowler look sorry with the bowling sequence of 4-6-6-4-4-2.
Late flourish from skipper Darren SRH skipper Darren Sammy (29) had guided Sunrisers to a 160 for seven after being invited to bat. Shikhar Dhawan (29 from 31 balls) and Naman Ojha (26 from 23 balls) also contributed in team's total.