What did teammate Yusuf Pathan do as KKR’s Sunil Narine levelled IPL’s fastest fifty
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What did teammate Yusuf Pathan do as KKR’s Sunil Narine levelled IPL’s fastest fifty

Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Yusuf Pathan held the record for the fastest IPL fifty until teammate Sunil Narine snatched a slice of it by demolishing the Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling on Sunday.

ipl 2017 Updated: May 09, 2017 01:03 IST
Shalini Gupta
Shalini Gupta
Hindustan Times
Sunil Narine,IPL,IPL 2017
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Sunil Narine plays a shot during Sunday’s IPL victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore. Promoted as pinch-hitting opener, Narine smashed a 15-ball fifty to equal teammate Yusuf Pathan’s record for the fastest 50 in the league.(AFP)

Records are meant to be broken, but if you are a team man, the view from the dugout will be beautiful.

Sunday was one such day. Barely had Yusuf Pathan settled down in the dug out to watch Kolkata Knight Riders’ reply to Royal Challengers Bangalore’s 158 in the IPL 2017, he knew something special was around the corner.

Sunil Narine, who is revelling in his role as pinch-hitter for KKR when not taking wickets bowling spin, blasted a 15-ball 50, matching the fastest half-century in the T20 league. Yusuf Pathan had held the record until Sunday, but will now have to share the mark with his teammate.

Using Sunil Narine as a pinch-hitting opener has been an inspired choice by KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir. And his destructive innings of 54 took KKR to the highest-ever Indian Premier League score in the first six power play overs -- 105 -- and set up a comfortable win over Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Read more | IPL 2017: Sunil Narine’s 15-ball fifty propels KKR to six-wicket win over RCB

Ever the team man

The camaraderie was evident as Yusuf Pathan, who had hit a 15-ball 50 against Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2014, was the first one to stand and applaud the innings.

However, the IPL 2017 has not gone the way the 34-year-old all-rounder would have wanted. Yusuf started the IPL-10 campaign on a great note, hammering 59 runs against Delhi Daredevils, but has not been able to fire in the following games. “Yusuf is one of our batting mainstays. We are hoping to get a big knock from him soon. He has shown in the past seasons how destructive he can be. We believe in his abilities,” batsman Manish Pandey, his KKR teammate, had said recently.

Yusuf has played 12 matches for KKR in the current IPL season, taking one wicket and scoring 121 runs.

Read more | IPL 2017: Sunil Narine ‘surprised’ after record fifty vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

Yusuf made his ODI debut in the Tri-series in Bangladesh in 2008 after coming into limelight during Rajasthan Royals’ victorious campaign in the inaugural IPL. However, it has been more than five years since the all-rounder last played for India.

This IPL season, with KKR almost through to the playoffs, Yusuf would be hoping to go out all guns blazing against Kings XI Punjab in Mohali on Tuesday.

The KKR players have complemented and backed each other, and it shouldn’t be long before the Baroda player regains form.

First Published: May 09, 2017 01:00 IST