Indian batsman Yusuf Pathan celebrates his 37th birthday on Sunday. Born on November 17, 1982, the right-handed batsman is a fierce hitter of the ball and a handy off-spinner too. Pathan is a well-known name in Indian cricket and is around the scene for a long time. Hailing from Baroda, the right-handed batsman is generally known for his heroics in the limited-overs format as he has the ability to turn the game on its head. Indian fans have generally seen his blitz in the Indian Premier League (IPL) where the dasher has played some jaw-dropping knocks and below we’ll be focusing on five such brilliant innings. Yusuf Pathan Birthday Special: Times When ‘Blaster’ Turned ‘Beast’ and Destroyed Opposition.
Pathan made his international debut in the all-important final of the 2007 T20 World Cup and that shows the trust the team management had on his game-changing abilities. Talking about the IPL, the explosive hitter has played for three franchises in 12 editions. Rajasthan Royals (RR), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) are the three teams that enjoyed the services of the ‘Blaster’. He is also one of those players who have been a part of three title lifting squads. Now, let’s look at some of his explosions in the gala tournament.
100 off 37 Deliveries Against Mumbai Indians in Mumbai, 2010
This blistering knocks by Pathan might well be the highlight of his IPL career. Chasing a total of 212 runs, Rajasthan’s top order collapsed and the dasher walked into bat at number five. He wasted no time whatsoever and attacked the bowlers from the outset. Pathan rained fours and sixes and scored a ton off just 37 balls which was the fastest of the tournament at that time. Unfortunately, the batsman didn’t receive much support from the other hand as Royals fell four runs short of the target.
72 off 22 Deliveries Against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Kolkata, 2014
The SRH bowlers became a victim of an absolute carnage by the Baroda star in 2014. In order to finish the group stage at the second position, KKR needed to chase 161 runs inside 15 overs. The target wasn’t easy as the Hyderabad bowling line-up comprised of Dale Steyn and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. However, Pathan had some different ideas as he played a jaw-dropping knock. He scored 72 runs off mere 22 deliveries and left everyone awestruck. Courtsey his efforts, KKR chased the target in 14.2 overs and advanced in the top two.
40* off 21 Deliveries Against Delhi Daredevils in Pune, 2012
The 2012 edition of the showpiece tournament was becoming a nightmare for Pathan as he failed to play any substantial knock throughout the tournament. However, he came good in the all-important first qualifier and made up for all dismal outings. He came into bat at number five and unleashed the attack from the word go. The smashed the likes of Irfan Pathan and Morne Morkel in the death overs and guided his side to 162 runs in the first innings. The Delhi side fell 18 runs of the target and KKR advanced to the finals.
72 off 44 Deliveries Against Pune Warriors India in Ranchi, 2013
Chasing a target of 170 runs, the KKR top-order tumbled and the onus was on Pathan who was promoted to bat at number four. The dasher didn’t disappoint and went for the kill from the first ball. Despite not getting much help from other batsmen, Pathan took the mantle of run-scoring upon himself and registered a brilliant half-century. His innings, however, came to an unfortunate end as he adjudged out obstructing the field and after his departure, Pune gained control and won the match by seven runs.
These knocks speak volumes of Pathan’s capability with the bat and the dasher isn’t finished yet. The 37-year old is currently participating in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019 and will eye to take Baroda to the title.