Pune : Regarded as one of the world’s finest pacers, Pat Cummins said he was more surprised than anyone else after his IPL record-equalling fastest fifty in Kolkata Knight Riders’ five-wicket win over Mumbai Indians here on Wednesday.
Cummins reached his half century in just 14 balls, same as KL Rahul, to help KKR chase down MI’s total of 161 with four overs to spare.
I probably think I’m most surprised by that innings. I’m glad that it came off. I was thinking of having a swing if it was in my area. Wasn’t trying to overthink it, Cummins said at the post-match press presentation ceremony.
The Australian added, Very satisfying to do it on my first game this season. Was just trying to pepper the shorter boundary. The hard thing after a big auction is that there are a lot of changes from last year. It’s a good mix of talent out there and quite relaxed with the boys.
It was unbelievable stuff from Cummins as KKR, needing 35 from 30 balls, got them all in just six deliveries with the Australian Test captain hitting six sixes and four boundaries in his 15-ball 56, leaving his skipper Shreyas Iyer as well as rival captain Rohit Sharma stunned.
Extraordinary! I couldn’t believe the way he (Cummins) was hitting the ball. Because yesterday in the nets, he was getting bowled now and then, I was batting in the nets beside him then, Iyer said.
Venkatesh Iyer batted through the KKR innings to remain not out on 50 off 41 balls.
During the timeout, the plan was for Venky to drop anchor and tell Pat to just swing at everything because that’s what he was doing before too. When I went into bat, I told him to just time the ball because he was overhitting the ball a bit.
We have to take responsibility as top order batters. All of us have the ability to hit the ball long. In the powerplay both innings, the pitch was quite the same. After the powerplay, it got a lot easier I guess, Iyer added.
Veteran Kieron Pollard complemented Suryakumar Yadav’s brisk half-century by smashing 23 runs in the last over to propel MI after KKR kept things tight for a major part of their innings.
After an 83-run fourth-wicket stand between Suryakumar Yadav (52) and Tilak Varma (38 not out), Pollard (22 not out) hit Cummins for three sixes to end MI’s innings on a high, which eventually proved to be too less for KKR.
Rohit said Cummins’ onslaught will be hard to digest.
Never expected him to come and play like that! Lot of credit to him for the way he played. With the bat we didn’t start well. Over the last four overs, to get 160-plus was a great effort…
We had the game until the 15th over, but the way Cummins played… We thought we could have them. But this will be hard to digest – the way it turned out to be in the last few overs. There is a lot of hard work we need to put in, Rohit said.