Mumbai Indians v Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2010, Mumbai March 13, 2010

Yusuf ton the best I have seen - Warne

Cricinfo staff

Shane Warne, the Rajasthan Royals captain, has described Yusuf Pathan's ferocious 37-ball century against Mumbai Indians as the best innings he's seen in his 21-year career. Yusuf blasted nine fours and eight sixes to haul Rajasthan back into the game in their chase of 213, after they had required 143 in 57 balls at one stage. However, his innings - the second-quickest Twenty20 century - was in vain, as he was brilliantly run out by R Sathish, marking a decisive moment in Rajasthan's four-run defeat.

"I've played cricket for 21 years and I have seen Sachin Tendulkar as the best batsman against whom I have played as he has murdered attacks and hit them all over the park. But today was the best innings I have ever seen," Warne said. "From a situation of 37 for 3 in seven overs and chasing 213 and come so close thanks to a 37 ball-100. It's a special innings. We believe we can win from anywhere. We just have to sort out our batting in the first six overs. In the last two IPLs we have won more games than anyone and we have won more close finishes."

Lasith Malinga and Zaheer Khan, Mumbai's fast bowlers, delivered yorkers consistently at the death when 19 were required off 12 balls. Rajasthan only managed 14, but Warne said the three run-outs in his team's innings and some lapses in the field while Mumbai were batting cost them in the end.

"Malinga is a good bowler at the death. We had plans to get to within eight runs of the target," Warne said. "The start wasn't great with a run out in the first over. Three run outs in the innings, a couple of dropped catches and some extras. That probably cost us the game in the end. We're proud of the way we played. We have a lot of young players who will take a lot from this."

Yusuf regretted his dismissal but took heart from his team's spirited comeback. "I made an error because of which we lost, else we would have won," he said. "We're sad right now but we are also very happy that we played good cricket apart from the extras we conceded. When such flat wickets get made, records get broken and runs get scored. We will learn a lot from this loss and there is not a lot to worry as this is a long tourney."

Mumbai's strong batting performance was a result of half-centuries from Saurabh Tiwary and Ambati Rayudu. Shaun Tait, the South Australian fast bowler, proved the most expensive, conceding 46 in four overs and undermining a big reputation coming into this tournament. Warne, however, defended Tait and was confident he'd get better. "Shaun Tait is probably one of the most exciting bowlers in the world," he said. "Unfortunately today he didn't get it right. There were patches where he did. But he'll be better for the run."

Sachin Tendulkar, the Mumbai captain, hailed Yusuf's knock as "special" and said he was aware of his ability to spark such a turnaround. "It was a special innings from him, but even the effort from R Sathish to get him run out was special," he said.

"Before he came in and played that knock, I thought we would win this match with ease, but that's the beauty of this great game. You can never take anything for granted. I knew Yusuf was in great form and if he connects the ball well, the target was achievable."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 17, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    i know where this is going..Shane Warne will become the Head,PR of IPL?come on warnie..puhleeezzzzzzzzzzzzzz...this is the best innings you have ever seen???in all formats of the game?against ali murtaza(whoz that?),ryan mclaren,sathish??<malinga and zagheer had not been affected>..agreed its a special innings, may be one of the best in IPL..but the best innings ever?you want to make money from IPL and india do but do not belittle the game to that extent and stoop urself to these levels...we do not want to remember you for these statements..we still want to remember you for that mike gatting delivery... ps:i am not even getting started on the fact that you witnessed many knocks by lara,sachin,gilchrist et al...

  • Sriram on March 15, 2010, 12:38 GMT

    CSK's loss (R Satish) is Mumbai's gain. CSK already lost D Karthik and YoMagehs and this year S Sriram and G Vignesh. It is going to really hurt them.

  • Sarthak on March 15, 2010, 9:31 GMT

    Why the hell, are most of u criticizing the fact that Yusuf smashed bad bowlers around the stadium. Cant u all just enjoy his power house batting. Shane Warne spoke his mind out. Why are u all criticizing his point that yusuf's 37 ball hundred was the best ever knock he saw. Warne is not saying that that was the all time best knock of the world. He said that in his 21 year old career, he thought it the best. Cant u all enjoy pure powerhouse batting display. Are u all never satisfied. U all need to relish good batting!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Altaaf on March 15, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    Yusuf went from 15 off 14 balls to 69 off 25 against Mumbai by hitting 11 consecutive balls for 6,6,6,6,4,4,6,4,4,4 and 4. It may not be the greatest knock ever but it's surely up there somewhere

  • Manasvi on March 14, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    Tendulkar's 175 featured scores over 350, not 450. And most of these so-called second rung players have wonderful records in ODIs; the likes of Bollinger, McKay, etc were bowling in that match. Both these guys have averages below 20 in ODIs reflecting their success as ODI players.

  • Dummy4 on March 14, 2010, 15:42 GMT

    i think Sehwag's 300's should be taken in to recognition, so should Tendulkars test efforts, that100 at the WACA in early 90's. Also Lara's 400 and Sachin's 200. But as it is the best innings Warne has seen then you can't dispute it

  • Jason on March 14, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    @devilprince claims that Yusuf's innings can't be called the best ever due to the lack of quality bowling that he faced, but then goes on to say Tendulkar's 175 is the best- an innings played against the bowling attack of an Australia side missing NINE players due to injury! That too on a pitch where both sides made 450 odd in their 50 overs, and every batsman on both sides easily scored at strike rates of well over 100. Tendulkar's 175 is without question the most over-rated innings in cricket history.

  • Bis on March 14, 2010, 9:55 GMT

    SHANE WARNE says it is best innings he has ever seen - nuff said.

  • Shantanu on March 14, 2010, 8:29 GMT

    It was a superb knock which brought back RR into the match but the runs mainly came against weaker bowlers. My MOM would be Malinga as his effort resulted in MI winning the match. To avoid such problems in MOM decisions Lalit Modi is well advised to have an Entertainer of the Match (EOM) as well as T-20 is pure entertainment. This award can also go to losing side and can reward good fielding and bowling effort as well . MOM should be reserved for winning side.

  • Vikram on March 14, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    Best innings eh,how can u say that Mr.Warne.The opposition had only two good bowlers and the other's were mere part timers.True Yusuf played a fantastic innings,but the main thing is most of his striking ability came against the likes of ali murtaza,ryan mclaren,satish etc.When malinga & zaheer were bowling to him,he wasn't able to hit them as he did against the other bowlers.If he had played this kind of innings against a major international opposition like the aussies or the south africans then we could say it was the best innings.He still has to prove himself in the international arena,where the quality of bowling will test his striking ability.Until than no comparison with Tendulkar nor any other player.To me the best innings till date is the 175 odd by Tendulkar against australia and Gibbs 175 against the same opposition.But guess we cant take anything away from Yusuf "well played"!!!

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