IPL 2024: Matthew Hayden labels Bairstow’s unbeaten 108 as ‘one of the great innings’ of T20 history

Matthew Hayden heaped praise on Punkab Kings' extraordinary batting and called it a ‘perfect chase’ after the Kings set the record of highest successful chase against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens

Kolkata, April 27 (IANS) Former Australia cricketer Matthew Hayden heaped praise on Punkab Kings’ extraordinary batting and called it a ‘perfect chase’ after the Kings set the record of highest successful chase against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens.

After openers Phil Salt and Sunil Narine slammed rollicking half-centuries while sharing an opening partnership of 138 runs in 10.2 overs to propel KKR to a mammoth 261/6, Prabhsimran Singh laid the foundation with a quick fifty, before Bairstow and Shashank dished out sensational knocks as PBKS now own the record for highest successful chase in T20 history.

“Yeah, it had to be the perfect run chase and it was,” said Hyaden on Star Sports Cricket Live. “I mean inside that power play they were extraordinary. They absolutely roasted anyone that came across them apart from Narine. It was a beacon of hope for just cutting short this enormous run chase.”

“But reality is these batters are getting so good at hitting balls. It is a batting thon this IPL. And we are seeing some extraordinary scenes. Tonight who would have ever thought that we were going to witness something as grand as what we saw here. From Jonny Bairstow who hasn’t been at this tournament of any kind of note this IPL, and he has arrived with a terrific hundred.”

Riding on the back of Jonny Bairstow’s unbeaten 108 and Shashank Singh’s unbeaten 68, Kings’ chased down the the biggest total of T20 history on Friday. The stage was set at the iconic Eden Gardens, where Punjab Kings embarked on an audacious chase of 262 runs. Jonny Bairstow, returning to the Kings’ lineup after a stint on the sidelines, took center stage with a breathtaking display batting as he bludgeoned an unbeaten 108 off just 48 deliveries.

Shashank Singh thrust into the spotlight at No. 4, embraced the challenge with gusto, smashing an unbeaten 68 off 28 balls to cement his status as one of the season’s standout performers.

Friday’s fixture also produced the most sixes (42) in a T20 match. It surpassed the 38 hits by Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians in Hyderabad last month and by Royal Challengers Bengaluru and SRH in Bengaluru last week.

“One of the great things that Jonny Bairstow said there is that “it was an important way that we had to start.” I mean we were working out before that his first game in T20 cricket was back in 2010. And he also had mentioned as well that the calmness at the crease. To be calm when you know you’ve got to break a record. In the history of IPL cricket, to win and still to have that presence. They’re almost like forces batters into an absolute no-loss situation. They just go out with clarity. With definition. And they just have to do it.”

“That calmness is such a unique element under pressure. And we’ve seen that delivered a few times, haven’t we, this IPL. So we’re seeing something very special here. And we have all these great conversations in the green room here as we’re waiting. And our four bowlers, they’ve got the brunt of why it is under pressure they’re not executing this IPL like we’ve seen,” he added.

–IANS

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