Venkatesh Iyer notched up his maiden IPL half-century on Thursday to put Kolkata Knight Riders in a commanding position against defending champions Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi. The 26-year-old hit a flurry of boundaries, not putting a foot wrong in his side’s run-chase.
Iyer completed his half-century in just 25 deliveries before falling prey to Jasprit Bumrah in the 12th over. In an innings laced with 6 fours and 2 sixes, he departed after scoring 53 off 30.
Iyer was roped in by the two-time champions earlier this year during the auction for the base price of INR 20 lakhs. He had also delivered on his debut against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), scoring a 27-ball 41 comprising seven boundaries and a solitary six.
Iyer combined with fellow opener Shubman Gill to stitch an 82-run opening stand to drive KKR close to a win, helping the two-time champions move to the fifth spot in the points table.
Surprisingly, the left-handed batsman was not a part of KKR’s Playing XI in the first leg of IPL 2021. He was handed his debut cap in the second phase.
Talking about Iyer’s T20 credentials, the swanky batsman has scored 765 runs at 38.25 in the domestic circuit including two half-centuries. Besides the T20 format, he has played 24 List A matches and 10 first-class games for Madhya Pradesh, scoring 849 runs and 545 runs respectively.