From out of nowhere, Pat Cummins turned out to be the chief architect of Kolkata Knight Riders stunning Mumbai Indians by five wickets with a whirlwind 14-ball half-century, equalling the record for fastest fifty in the history of the tournament.
In his 15 balls, Cummins scored 56 runs with the help of four fours and six sixes at a jaw-dropping strike-rate of 373.33 on a pitch at MCA Pune where a majority of the batters in the match were asked tough questions.
But Cummins batted like a man possessed and took Kolkata home in a chase which looked tricky when he walked in. Asked by his Kolkata team-mate Venkatesh Iyer in a video posted by the IPL website on Thursday, Cummins tried to recall how his blistering knock happened.
"I don't know (on how his knock happened). I think you guys did the hard work upfront, so for when I come in, I was trying to hit big sixes, trying to think really clearly: If it's in my area, I am going to go for it, if it's not in my area, I'll just try and take a single. Batting at the end of the game, it's not swinging, it's not seaming so it's a bit easier for me. It was good fun."
When Cummins was smashing boundaries off Tymal Mills, Jasprit Bumrah and Daniel Sams (taken to cleaners for 35 runs in the 16th over), Iyer had the best seat in the house to witness the carnage, holding one end for an unbeaten 41-ball 50.
"Felt really good. Honestly, barring you, everyone felt the wicket was a little bit tricky to bat on but that was some unbelievable display of hitting from you. So it was important for me to stay there till the end and play that anchor role," stated Iyer.
Till the match against Mumbai, Iyer struggled to get going. But he took his time against Mumbai to reach his first fifty of the IPL 2022 season.
"Obviously, I didn't have the best of starts with the bat. I wasn't hitting the ball with the middle of the bat. But those are the days. I spoke to myself about staying there till the end. You need a batter from the top-four to stay there till the end when chasing a decent total in front of the bowling attack like that. So that was my plan."
This was Cummins' first IPL 2022 match after missing the first three games due to tour of Pakistan, where he featured in the Test leg before being rested for the white-ball fixtures. "Had about five to six days off then I flew over here, three days quarantine and then had two days leading into this game which was really good."
"Like, the more I bowl, the better I feel like I bowl. Coming off Test cricket means that I don't have to upskill too quickly. So it's been good preparation, the body feels great, (I'm) just itching to get out there," explained the Australia Test skipper.
Cummins signed off by saying that he will take really good care of the bat which fetched his a 14-ball fifty against Mumbai. "I'll hang on to it. Yeah, I'll look after that one."
Now on top of the points table with six points, Kolkata will meet Delhi Capitals on Sunday at Brabourne Stadium.
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