Fan's Player Century Prediction Excites Social Media
It was a day to remember for the Kolkata Knight Riders as Venkatesh Iyer scored a century in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match against the Mumbai Indians on Sunday. The historic feat marked the first time in about 15 years that a KKR player had scored a century in the IPL.
Brendon McCullum was the last KKR player to achieve the feat, scoring a century in the inaugural edition of the T20 league in the very first match. So, it was no surprise that predicting a KKR player to score a century was a tough ask, considering the 15-year-long drought. But a fan had almost accurately envisioned what Sunday's match was to bring.
What Was the Prediction?
At around 1 PM on April 16, a Twitter user named Shahid tweeted, A Twitter user named Shahid tweeted around 1 PM on April 16, "Bold prediction for today's match. Venkatesh Iyer will score his first ever t20 century in just 51 balls." And, as it turned out, that's exactly what happened.
Although Iyer's ton came in 49 balls, he eventually made 104 runs off 51 balls.
Twitter was buzzing with people praising Shahid's prediction, with many even comparing him to Paul the octopus, the famous sea creature who predicted the outcomes of football matches during the 2010 World Cup.
Despite Iyer's impressive performance, KKR couldn't secure a win. The Mumbai Indians took two points from the match, courtesy of their 5-wicket win with 2.2 overs to spare.
After the match, Iyer expressed his happiness with his performance, but would have been happier if they had won the match. He said that the wicket was beautiful to bat on and he used his feet and went deep in the crease to counter the swing bowlers.
Iyer's IPL Story
Before the match, Iyer had been through a difficult year, losing his India place and suffering a broken ankle. Despite his struggles, Brendon McCullum, who brought Venkatesh into the team, retained him for the following year's mega-auction.
Venkatesh's innings in T20 cricket demonstrated the importance of attacking intent. Even after being dropped in the 80s, he maintained a positive mindset and scored heavily by hitting sixes all around the ground and playing aggressively square of the wicket.
He played especially well against Piyush Chawla, whom he identified as the Mumbai Indians' main attacking threat, but also managed to score at a 200-plus strike rate against the other five bowlers, hitting each of them for at least one six.
For Venkatesh, the most important thing was doing what was right for the team, not individually. He had been used as a specialist batter in every game this season due to his recovering broken ankle, so he was yet to take the field with his teammates.
"Injury doesn't take a toll on your body just physically, but mentally as well. It makes you go through a lot," he said. "I'm really happy that I'm back on the field, doing what I love the most."
Despite the loss, Iyer's performance has been a highlight of the IPL season so far, and fans of the player and the team will be hoping for more of the same in the coming matches.