Going into the game against Rising Pune Supergiant, Robin Uthappa had scored 185 runs for Kolkata at a strike rate of 158.11. But on Wednesday, he was striking at 185.10 when his 47-ball knock finally came to an end. KKR needed to score at over 9 runs an over when Uthappa joined skipper Gautam Gambhir at the crease, chasing 183 for a victory. And when he departed, KKR needed to score less than two runs an over.
More importantly, Yusuf Pathan could not control his emotions as he kept cheering the batsman on from the dug-out after every boundary. And a man not really known to show much emotions to cheer 7 boundaries and 6 sixes clearly shows how stellar Uthappaâs knock was.
But Uthappa was the star of the match at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune not just for his batting. It was also his wicket-keeping that played a vital role. By stumping Ajinkya Rahane (46), MS Dhoni (23) and Manoj Tiwary (1), Uthappa also ensured that Puneâs score which looked threatening to cross the 200-run mark at one stage, did not get the much-needed boost in the death.
Uthappa though decided to play it modest when asked about his keeping as well as batting at the end of the game. âI am enjoying my keeping, I think MS has set the benchmark for Indian keepers, so I'm slowly but surely getting there. The ball was still gripping, but this wicket got better to bat on in the second innings,â is what he said.