Cummins bludgeoned the joint-fastest half-century in IPL history to dwarf a 162-run target.
Pat Cummins made a mockery of a 162-run target with a thunderous assault at Pune’s MCA Stadium as Mumbai Indians slipped to their third defeat on the trot. Cummins bludgeoned six sixes and four fours to reach his fifty in a blink of an eye, quite literally.
He entered at the fall of Andre Russell’s wicket, with KKR still 61 away from the target. In a carnage of an innings that followed, he took off so fast that the game was over before anyone’s realisation. Cummins brought up his half-century in merely 14 balls to equal KL Rahul’s record, and stood unbeaten on a 15-ball 56, as many as 35 of which he picked off in a single over of a hapless Daniel Sams, who earned himself an unwanted record of delivering the second-most expensive over in IPL history, which went 6, 4, 6, 6, 2 (no-ball), 4, 6.
Cummins’ belief-defying innings meant KKR romped home with a whopping four overs and five wickets to spare. His superlative effort aside, some credit was due also to Venkatesh Iyer, who was reduced to a bystander upon the Cummins’ arrival. However, before that, Iyer played his part and scored a half-century of his own, a 41-ball 50, during which he strung partnerships with each KKR batter who batted on the night.
After the Cummins show, it would not be criminal to forget there was another half of the innings. It was the part where Mumbai Indians set 161/4 on the back of a 36-ball 52 from Suryakumar Yadav and an unbeaten 27-ball 38 from Tilak Varma.
Varma’s handy knock was overshadowed by Yadav, although it was thanks to this duo’s 83-run stand for the fourth wicket, and Kieron Pollard’s 22 off merely 5, that Mumbai managed to breach the 160-run mark, which seemed distant until as late as the 17th over. Whatever they got was not enough, thanks to that monster.
Losing skipper Rohit Sharma
Never expected him to come and play like that [on Cummins]. Lot of credit. The pitch got better and better to bat as the game went on. It was holding up initially. Overall it was a good pitch. With the bat we did not start well, in the last 4-5 overs to get 70+ was a great effort from the batting unit. We did not bowl according to the plan. We had the game till the 15th over, but then Cummins was brilliant. Whenever you have runs on the board, we always have the upper hand, We had them 5-down, it was just a matter of the wicket of Venky or Pat, they had Sunil who could smash them. This will be hard to digest, the way it turned out in the last few overs. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us. I don’t want to be in this position all the time [frustrated smile on being pointed out that MI have been in this position before at the start of an IPL season].
Winning skipper Shreyas Iyer
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. 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.
Player of the Match Pat Cummins
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. 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.