From the time Yashasvi Jaiswal arrived in the Indian cricket scene at the 2020 U-19 World Cup, there was no doubting about the left-handed opener’s talent. A technically gifted batter with a calm head on his shoulders, Jaiswal was always expected to deliver on the big stage. The 21-year-old, whose rise to the top echelons of Indian cricket after years of tremendous struggle at the Mumbai maidaans has been well documented, left another indelible stamp of his authority with a historic feat on Thursday. He was on absolute rampage for Rajasthan Royals against Kolkata Knight Riders in an IPL 2023 match in Kolkata to slam the fastest-ever half-century in the history of the premier T20 competition.
The 21-year-old opener reached the 50-run mark in just 13 balls to break the record jointly held by KL Rahul and Pat Cummins. Both, had scored half-centuries in 14 balls. With RR chasing a 150-run target against KKR, Jaiswal went hammer and tongs from the word go as he took the attack to the opposition. In the first over by KKR captain Nitish Rana, Jaiswal struck 26 runs (second most number of runs scored in the first over of an IPL innings) with the help of three fours and two sixes. He took a double on the fifth ball.
In the second over, despite RR losing the wicket of Jos Buttler, Jaiswal hit a four and a six. He did not have to wait long to reach the half-century mark. In the third over by Shardul Thakur, Jaiswal again hit three more fours before completing his half-century in just 13 balls, with a single on the fifth ball of the over.
Fastest fifties in the IPL (by balls faced)
1. 13 balls – Yashasvi Jaiswal (RR) vs KKR, Kolkata, today
2. 14 balls – KL Rahul (PBKS) vs DC, Mohali, 2018
3. 14 balls – Pat Cummins (KKR) vs MI, Pune, 2022
The effort impressed Virat Kohli, who wrote in an Instagram post with an image of Jaiswal: “Wow, this is some of the best batting I have seen in a while. What a talent Yashasvi Jaiswal.”
Ultimately Jaiswal stayed unbeaten on 98 (47 balls, 5x6s, 13x4s). Courtesy, his magnificent innings RR chased down the 150-run target in just 13.1 overs.
“It was a nice feeling today. It is not like everything I wanted happens, I prepare well and I trust in myself. I know the results will come. The winning shot was a great feeling, I wanted to finish the game and winning the game has been my motto,” Jaiswal said after the win.
“I’m blessed and grateful, I’m trying my best. (On whether he feels he missed out on a century) I think the net run rate was the only thing in our mind, me and Sanju were only talking about finishing the game quickly.”
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