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by Sandeep Shivam Monday 9 May 2016
For his unbeaten belligerent knocks of 60 and 63 that came at a strike-rate of 206 and 153 in the Indian Premier League 2016, Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Yusuf Pathan is the Cricket World Player of the Week.
In the 30th match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders were reeling at 69 for four in a chase of 186.
However, Pathan came to the rescue and added 96 for the fifth wicket with West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell to bring the chase on track.
His fifty came off just 27 deliveries and he went on to score a six and a boundary off the next two balls to ensure the Knight Riders chased down the target in 19.1 overs.
In the 38th game against the Gujarat Lions, Kolkata Knight Riders found themselves in trouble at 24 for four in the powerplay on the back of another top-order collapse.
However, Pathan once again came to the party, this time adding a record unbeaten 134 runs for the fifth wicket with Shakib Al Hasan to take the Kolkata Knight Riders to 158. Pathan remained unbeaten on 63 while Hasan was unbeaten on 66.
But their efforts went in vain as a fifty from Dinesh Karthik and cameos from Aaron Finch and Brendon McCullum completed an easy case for the Lions which took them to the top of the points table.
In the 32nd game, fifties from Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa propelled the Kolkata Knight Riders score to 158, a total they defended by seven runs despite a valiant 68 from Glenn Maxwell.
Pathan's performance had a fierce competition from Indian batsmen Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane, who had an excellent week as openers for their respective franchises.
In the 35th game between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rising Pune Supergiants, Rahane scored a fluent 74 off 48 deliveries and along with a fifty from Saurabh Tiwary, he took the Pune total to 191.
However, the Pune team's hope of making to the play-off stage ended with Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Kohli scoring a terrific century, his second in the tournament, to complete the chase in the final over.
Kohli contributed with another 52 in the 30th game and is currently the leading run-scorer in the tournament.
Meanwhile, Dhawan, who had an indifferent start to the tournament contributed with scores of 47 and 82 without being dismissed.
In the 34th match against Gujarat Lions, despite wickets falling around, Dhawan stood firm and saw the team through with an unbeaten 47 in a chase of 127.
The Hyderabad opener took a step further in the game against Mumbai Indians where he scored unbeaten 82 off just 57 deliveries to set a target of 178.
In reply, Mumbai Indians were dismissed for 92, thanks to fantastic bowling effort from the Hyderabad pacers led by Ashish Nehra. Mustafizur Rahman also had a good outing with five wickets from two games.
Marcus Stoinis’ all-round performance for Kings XI Punjab against the Delhi Daredevils where he scored 52 runs and picked three wickets deserves special mention as well.
© Cricket World 2016