It was another special performance from our Knights on Monday against Delhi Daredevils. While Manish Pandey ensured that there was no last-over heartbreak for us with a superlative unbeaten 69, Yusuf Pathan too played his part in this special victory with an under pressure 59 off 39 balls. However, this wasn’t the first time that Yusuf bhai delivered under pressure in a chase for us. A look at some of his special efforts:
72 (22) v Sunrisers Hyderabad
24 May 2014, Eden Gardens
This innings from Yusuf Pathan is still rated as one of the best ever played in IPL history. Chasing 161 inside 15 overs for a top-two finish in the league standings, KKR were struggling 4/78 in the 10th over. Enter Pathan! The all-rounder recorded the fastest fifty in IPL history, smashing 72 off a meagre 22 balls. The highlight of this innings came in the 13th over against Dale Steyn. The sequence was 4, 6, 6, 4, 4, 2. Victory came in the 15th over, thereby ensuring KKR a top-two finish.
28* (24) v Kings XI Punjab
18 April 2015, MCA Stadium
The contribution may not seem much. But chasing 156, we were struggling at 5/60 in the eighth over when Andrew Russell joined Pathan at the crease. While Russell went hammer and tongs at the other end, the 34-year-old played the role of senior pro to perfection. His 95-run partnership with Russell came in only 59 balls as our Knights cantered home with 13 balls to spare.
36 (27) v Rising Pune Supergiants
24 April 2016, MCA Stadium
Again, the numbers may not seem much! But the value of those 36 runs cannot be measured. Chasing 161, KKR were in a spot of bother at 3/60 in the 7th over when Pathan walked out to bat. Nurturing young gun Surya Kumar Yadav, the veteran took the onus of taking the attack into the opposition camp. His innings, that comprised of 2 sixes and 2 boundaries, ensured that momentum swung in our favour during a breezy 51-run stand with SKY. This knock, coupled with Surya’s brilliant 60 in 49 balls, ensured that KKR crossed the line despite a late collapse.
60* (29) v Royal Challengers Bangalore
02 May 2016, M Chinnaswamy Stadium
The face of a countless number of Kolkata wins, Pathan was at his very best yet again in the 2016 edition of the team's away game against RCB. It's almost as if tougher and more challenging the situation, the better it gets out of the all-rounder! In a high profile game, KKR were faltering at 4/69 in the 11th over chasing 186. And that's when Pathan brought on his 'A' game for the umpteenth time, hitting an unbeaten 60 in 29 balls to power the Knights to 5-wicket win in the last over. This innings at Bangalore would have rekindled some great memories for Pathan since he also scored his first ODI hundred at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in 2010.
59 (39) v Delhi Daredevils
17 April 2017, Feroz Shah Kotla
This innings against a strong Delhi attack will remain close to Yusuf bhai, for more than one reason. After all, this was only the fourth time when an IPL team chased down a target after losing 3 wickets within the first 3 overs. Like he always does in such situations, Pathan took the attack to the opposition camp. His 6 boundaries and 2 sixes came against arguably the best bowling line-up this season, comprising of Zaheer Khan, Pat Cummins, Chris Morris, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami and Angelo Mathews. His 110-run partnership with Manish Pandey was the cornerstone of our fourth victory from five outings in IPL 2017. The icing on the cake for Yusuf bhai, was that this performance came on the day of his darling son Ayaan’s third birthday.