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Yusuf enthralls SA crowd

Explosive batsman Yusuf Pathan has suddenly become hot property in South Africa. The locals were so enthralled by his hard-hitting in the match against the Kolkata Knight Riders that they were seen discussing the Baroda bomber almost everywhere, reports Rakesh Thapliyal.

cricket Updated: Apr 25, 2009 02:20 IST
Rakesh Thapliyal

Explosive batsman Yusuf Pathan has suddenly become hot property in South Africa. The locals were so enthralled by his hard-hitting in Thursday's match against the Kolkata Knight Riders that they were seen discussing the Baroda bomber almost everywhere. Many of the fans even asked us about the correct pronunciation of his name.

The innings also earned him quite a few female fans, many of who were seen waiting for him outside the dressing room after the match.

The older of the Pathan brothers was overwhelmed by the support. "I am so very happy. This will be my most memorable innings. We had a stiff target in the Super Over, but I backed myself and knew that I could do it."

Even KKR skipper Brendon McCullum acknowledged the impact of his innings. "It seemed someone stole the match from us."

Yusuf's performance sent his skipper into raptures. "It was fun watching Yusuf hit sixes in both the knocks he played. And it wasn't just his batting. I opened the bowling with him, hoping to tie down McCullum and Gayle. He vindicated my decision," said Warne.

Yusuf took Ajantha Mendis to the cleaners in the Super Over hammering him for 18 runs with two sixes, one four and a double. It was Mendis, who had cut short Yusuf's innings of 42 (21 balls) in the regulation period. The Baroda batsman was going great guns with two sixes and six fours before mistiming Mendis to the point fielder.

It was for this reason that Mendis was given the Super Over.

However, Yusuf was just too good this time.

"I'd got out to Mendis and I knew he would try to keep the same line and length. But this time I was prepared and was successful in smashing him for a six off the first ball. That set the tone."