Kolkata: A phenomenal knock from Yusuf Pathan, who blasted his way to a 22-ball 72, catapulted Kolkata Knight Riders to the second-place in the point table as the hosts hammered Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets in their final IPL match, here on Saturday.
Pathan made full use of the two lives to smash the fastest fifty in IPL history as KKR knocked off a 161-run target in 14.2 overs when they were required to overhaul it in 15.2 to make it to top-two.
Pathan enthralled the packed Eden Gardens crowd with his exceptional knock which featured seven sixes and five fours.
After being dropped on nought and 15, he completed his half-century in just 15 balls.
The result pushed Chennai Super Kings to third place and KKR will now clash with table toppers Kings XI Punjab in the first Qualifier on May 27 at Eden Gardens.
Leading run-getter Robin Uthappa (41) and Gautam Gambhir (28) set up the chase before Yusuf`s blitz.
Yusuf was on his way back to dug out before he could open his account after hitting straight to midwicket fielder Anirudha, who dropped the sitter.
It would have been a second wicket in the Karn Sharma`s over after the leggie dismissed Manish Pandey but the breather turned around KKR`s fortunes as they were reeling 78/4 in 9.4 overs after Uthappa (41) and Ten Doeschate were dismissed in the same over.
Yusuf made his intention clear in the next over when he slammed Parvez Rasool one six and a boundary and even got a second life when Steyn dropped him at the square leg boundary, that went over the rope. The JK spinner leaked 22 runs in that over.
Steyn had to bear the brunt of dropping Yusuf as the biggest onslaught from the Baroda hitter came only against the South African speedster who conceded 26 runs in his last over with two sixes and three fours.
Such was Yusuf`s fury that he made the world`s no 1 bowler look sorry with the bowling sequence of 4-6-6-4-4-2. ate flourish from skipper Darren
SRH skipper Darren Sammy (29) had guided Sunrisers to a 160 for seven after being invited to bat. Shikhar Dhawan (29 from 31 balls) and Naman Ojha (26 from 23 balls) also contributed in team`s total.
Earlier SRH required a late flourish from Sammy to reach a a competitive total.
After being put in, Dhawan and Ojha shared a quick 64-run stand from 46 balls to begin a recovery act after losing David Warner (4) in the first over.
Later SRH skipper, after getting a reprieve on zero from a butterfingered Yusuf Pathan, slammed three sixes and one four in his 19-ball 29 to push the total past 150-run mark.
Yusuf not only dropped Sammy's sitter at long-on boundary off Shakib but he took the ball past the boundary rope for a six. Sammy gained confidence and struck another six in an over that yielded 15 runs to push SRH's run-rate.
KKR leaked 21 runs in extras, while pacer Umesh Yadav was most expensive conceding 32 from his three overs.
Morne Morkel (1/32) was the pick of the bowlers but it was the extras that hurt the cause of KKR who have already sealed a playoff berth but are eyeing a second-place finish for the play-offs. They need to overhaul the target in 15.2 overs to topple Chennai Super Kings from second place.
Aided by some wayward bowling up front, Sunrisers overcame a poor start when Warner was castled by Morkel with a peach of a delivery in the second ball.
Morkel was bowling with searing pace and bounce and was the pick of the KKR attack up front but the side conceded 14 extras in first five overs which did not help their cause.
It helped Sunrisers run-rate immensely as they were 49/1 in the Powerplay and were even going nine-plus an over with Dhawan and Ojha scoring freely against the Indian duo of Umesh Yadav and Vinay Kumar.
Narine was brought in the last Powerplay over but Ojha unsettled the rhythm of the Knight Riders mystery spinner slamming two boundaries.
Ojha was more aggressive than Dhawan and slammed Ryan ten Doeschate for a six over midwicket but was caught and bowled by the Dutchman when the wicketkeeper batsman mistimed one in the next delivery.
Manish Pandey was brilliant in the field and ran out Dhawan and Venugopal Rao to give crucial breakthroughs in the middle but it was of little help with Sammy leading the side to a fighting total.