'Surprised' Cummins hits joint-fastest IPL fifty off 14 balls

Pat Cummins plays a shot | ANI

Pune: Pat Cummins on Wednesday said he was "more surprised" than anyone by his joint-fastest 14-ball IPL fifty that steered Kolkata Knight Riders to a stunning victory over Mumbai Indians.

The 28-year-old Australian Test skipper joined Venkatesh Iyer with Kolkata on 101-5 while chasing 162 and tore into the Mumbai attack with his 56 off 15 balls as the two-time champions reached their target with four overs to spare in Pune.

The left-handed Venkatesh had the best seat in the house as Cummins hit six sixes including the winning hit over the fence in a 35-run Daniel Sams over.

Cummins' effort equalled KL Rahul's 50 off 14 balls for Kings XI Punjab -- now Punjab Kings -- in 2018 as Mumbai slipped to their third loss in as many matches.

"I am probably more surprised (with that innings)," man of the match Cummins, a pace bowler who took two wickets in the match, said after the knock.

"I think I am batting at my best when I don't think too much. I just try and swing hard and fortunately today it came off."

Cummins, who was bought back by Kolkata for nearly $1 million -- a dip from his previous $2.17 m in 2019 -- scored his third half-century of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament with a highest of 66 not out last year.

He said this innings was "really satisfying" in his first match of season-15 after he completed his mandatory quarantine on return from Australia.

Venkatesh hit an unbeaten 50 off 41 balls but his knock was completely overshadowed by the Cummins blitz as the pair put on 61 off 18 balls after Andre Russell returned to the pavilion.

Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma said the loss will be "hard to digest" after Suryakumar Yadav, with his unbeaten 36-ball 52, guided Mumbai to 161-4.

Suryakumar, who missed the team's first two matches due to injury, lifted Mumbai from a sluggish start with an attacking stand of 83 with Tilak Varma.

Suryakumar and the left-handed Varma, who hit an unbeaten 38 off 27 deliveries took on the opposition bowling before Kieron Pollard finished with a flourish with his five-ball 22.

The effort of all three batters gave Mumbai 76 runs in the last five overs including 23 off the 20th when Pollard hit Cummins for three sixes.

But Cummins' knock left everything in the shade and it took Kolkata, led by Shreyas Iyer, to the top of the 10-team table with three wins from four matches.

The crowd capacity for league matches at the four venues in Mumbai and Pune on Wednesday increased to 50 percent from the initial 25 after the western state of Maharashtra lifted all Covid curbs at the weekend. AFP

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