New Delhi: Yusuf Pathan missed his son’s third birthday on Monday for he was playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL against Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla. And even in his absence, his son got the birthday gift he had asked for – a win for his father. Pathan scored 59 from 39 balls with six fours and two sixes. His partnership alongside Manish Pandey (69) helped KKR to a four wicket win with a ball to spare in a thrilling finale.
“When we left from the hotel in Kolkata, he asked me for a bat and ball, which was a shock for me. He has only seen two games of mine since he really began to understand things.And after watching those two matches he has asked me for a bat and ball. I wanted to come here and win the game for the team. Today also, when we were talking on the phone, we talked about it. There can’t be a better gift then helping the team win and whatever he has asked for I will give those things to him after winning the game for my team,” he told the IPL website.
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) April 17, 2017
What made KKR’s win over DD even more applaudable was the fact that the visitors were reduced 21/3 while chasing 169 for the win. It only made things better that KKR went up to the top of the table with the victory. Speaking on the match-winning stand with Pandey, Pathan said, “We had a good game plan and it succeeded. We were trying to get a boundary or a six in every over regardless of who the bowler was and to keep rotating the strike. The wicket was good and the partnership was also coming along well.So we were trying to put the bowlers and the captain under pressure so that they commit a mistake and so do the fielders. We backed ourselves. He is batting really well right now. The way I was middling the ball and the runs were coming, I was telling him ‘the runs are coming freely.You continue to rotate the strike, and if you get the ball (which is there to be hit) for a boundary or six, convert it.’”
Pathan revealed some interesting tidbits on his thought process when it comes to T20s and the brand of cricket he enjoys. “The bowlers were becoming aggressive and I was enjoying that. When the bowler comes aggressively at you, I feel good because (which means) he wants to get me out and that leads to a good contest. I enjoy that contest and fighting back.” Earlier during the Delhi innings, Pathan was on the microphone speaking to the commentators and stated, “I get nervous while playing in a small ground. Feels better to play at a bigger ground – ball goes further.”