Indian Premier League | Top five fastest fifties in the league

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Indian Premier League | Top five fastest fifties in the league

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SportsCafe Desk

03/29/2017

What is more pleasing than watching a brutal batting performance unfold in a T20 match? That is, maybe, the primary reason why people love the IPL so much and it also explains why the likes of AB de Villers, Chris Gayle, and Suresh Raina have been elevated to a status that not many can reach.

In our countdown series, we are taking you down the memory lane and here, we are looking at the five fastest fifties in the league since the inception of the IPL way back in 2008.

5. Chris Morris (17 balls), Delhi Daredevils v Gujarat Lions, IPL 2016

Coming in at a time, when the team was placed in a precarious position, having lost four wickets for a mere 57 runs, in 11 overs, while chasing a target of 173 runs, South African all-rounder Chris Morris played a fantastic innings of 82 runs off just 32 balls to get Delhi back on track to compete in the match. Morris came in at No. 6 and launched his second ball into the second tier of the stands behind long-off and after that, it was all one-way traffic as the Protean all-rounder sent another seven balls way past the boundary line.

But as it turned out, the lady luck didn't smile at Morris' bravado. His incredible innings was not sufficient to take his team past the line as Praveen Kumar and Dwayne Bravo gave away only 16 off the final two overs to pull off a magnificent one-run win for the Lions.

4. Adam Gilchrist (17 balls), Deccan Chargers v Delhi Daredevils, 1st semi-final, IPL 2009

After Deccan Chargers finished the opening edition of the tournament as the wooden spooners, Adam Gilchrist played a pivotal role in taking them all the way to the championship in the second edition. The one-man show was on display in their semi-final encounter as Gilchrist, almost, single-handedly knocked out table toppers Delhi Daredevils from the competition. 

Chasing 154, the skipper started his assault on the Delhi bowlers right from the outset and treated the Centurion crowd to a stunning display of power hitting. Despite running out of partners at the other end, he kept pacing his innings at a rate that could only be termed as riotous. He finished his 50 in just 17 balls, creating a new IPL record before he was dismissed for 85 of only 35 balls. After Gilchrist departed, the Delhi bowlers tried to pull the game back in their favour, but Deccan would go on to achieve their target with 14 balls to spare.

3. Chris Gayle (17 balls), Royal Challengers Bangalore v Pune Warriors, IPL 2013

It was the brutal display of bottom-handed power-hitting that brought everyone sitting in the Chinnaswamy to their feet. It was a sensational display by a journeyman cricketer, who has the rare capability of bringing any cricketing match to life with his brash chutzpah. Chris Gayle played the once-in-a-lifetime innings on a summer evening in Bangalore against Pune Warriors that has become a part of the IPL folklore. 

Gayle scored an unbelievable 175 runs in that match as RCB reached the highest ever score in a single T20 match. The big Jamaican scored his half-century in just 17 balls and went on to smash the fastest T20 hundred off only 30 balls. In the process, he also broke a quite a few record and joined Adam Gilchrist at the joint-third place in the chart of fastest fifties in the IPL.

*Although Kieron Pollard had also scored a 17-ball half-century, we have excluded him from our list based on the highest number of run scored at the end of the innings. 

2. Suresh Raina (16 balls), Chennai Super Kings v Kings XI Punjab, 2nd Qualifier, IPL 2014

When it comes to the IPL, not only has Suresh Raina been one of the ever-present players but has made quite a name for himself as well. It has been a relationship that has evolved right in front of the public eye and a career that has been defined by the insane amount of runs that he has scored over the course of nine seasons.

In the 2014 qualifier encounter, the Brabourne was treated to a Virender Sehwag century, but Raina walked onto the ground with an aim to single-handedly made a mockery of a 227-run target. During his 25-ball 87, he scored 33 runs off a Parvinder Awana over. 

Raina batted with such assurance that it looked like Chennai believed they were destined for a fifth IPL final, irrespective of how hard Punjab had made it for them. Raina got out after scoring 87 runs, but he had left Chennai with their noses ahead needing 127 from 83 balls at a relatively straightforward asking rate of nine per over. But it wasn't meant to be as the Chennai middle order collapsed and apart from MS Dhoni everyone failed to deliver and the Super Kings lost the game by 24 runs.

1. Yusuf Pathan (15 balls), Kolkata Knight Riders v Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2014

How can this list be completed without having Yusuf Pathan on it? The Baroda batsman has the ability to disappoint his fans on multiple occasions failing to deliver when it matters but every once in a while he will come up with an unforgettable innings. Sunrisers Hyderabad found themselves at the wrong end of a Pathan masterclass in 2014 that is not likely to be forgotten anytime soon.

Chasing a target of 161, KKR needed to achieve the target in just 15.2 overs to knock Chennai Super Kings off second place. When Yusuf Pathan made his way to the pitch, KKR needed 106 from 47 balls and he would have gotten the feeling that it was going to be his day when he was dropped before he had even scored a run. If that was not a sign, being dropped again at 15 and getting a six for it would surely have made up his mind. But Yusuf then started smashing Hyderabad bowlers in a fashion that captivated all and sundry along with he scored the fastest ever fifty in an IPL match. He had reached 50 in 15 balls and also milked Dale Steyn for 26 runs in a single over. KKR beat Sunrisers with 34 balls spare. 

But after the lucky breaks, Pathan started smashing the Hyderabad bowlers in a fashion that captivated all and brought up his fifty in just 15 balls - a record that stands to this day. It wasn't just the what he had achieved but they way he did it smashing even the ever reliable Dale Steyn for 26 runs in a single over. KKR, eventually, reached their target of 161 in just 14.3 overs - 72 of which came from the bat of the Indian hitter.

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