Warne salutes 'fantastic' Yusuf
Shane Warne, the Rajasthan Royals captain, has called Yusuf Pathan's batting 'fantastic' after he plundered 18 runs from the first four balls of the Super Over to give the defending champions their first win of the season. Yusuf's performance in the tie-breaker capped a strong show with the ball and bat; he had blasted a 21-ball 42 besides sending down four tidy overs.
"Yusuf Pathan was fantastic," Warne said after the victory over Kolkata Knight Riders. "To have walked out and clubbed two sixes like that, was well done."
Warne was also thrilled with the 18-year-old rookie fast bowler Kamran Khan, who sent down a tight final over to force a tie before being entrusted with the Super Over ahead of several seasoned campaigners.
"We thought about Yusuf and myself as spin options," Warne said. "But I thought if a couple of deliveries went, then the ball would have got wet because it's pretty dewy. Kamran gave six runs off the last over (of the scheduled 20) and I thought he did well to hold his nerve."
Kolkata captain Brendon McCullum was 'gutted' by the outcome. "We thought we had got ourselves across the line," he said. "In the super over we thought we had a reasonable score, but Yusuf came out and took it away from us."
He also praised deposed captain Sourav Ganguly's 30-ball 46 which dragged Kolkata back into the game after a middle-order collapse. "I thought the way Sourav played to get us into that situation was superb," he said. "But yes, it feels like this one has been stolen away from us not winning it in the end there."
He also said he had no regrets at giving Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis, playing his first match of the season, the responsibility of bowling the Super Over. "The way Mendis bowled in the game itself, he bowled outstandingly well and he got Yusuf Pathan out as well, so I thought that maybe if Yusuf tried to hit him once too often and maybe put one straight up in the air then that would be enough to win the game.
"Also I asked Mendy if he wanted it and he was jumping out of his skin for it, so anyone who wants a job like that I'm more inclined to give it to them rather than try find someone else."