Records are made to be broken, they say. On a Thursday evening at the Eden Gardens, not one but two hard-to-break Indian Premier League records were broken on an incredible night for Rajasthan Royals.

First, Yuzvendra Chahal surpassed Dwayne Bravo to become the leading wicket-taker in the history of the IPL. Then, Yashasvi Jaiswal hit the fastest fifty in the history of the tournament. The result, you ask? A massive nine-wicket victory for Rajasthan Royals over home side Kolkata Knight Riders with a whopping 41 balls to spare.

Jaiswal’s night out

“Jaiswal, chhodna nahi hai beta. Karte rehna hai. Don’t stop, son. You have to keep doing it.”

That’s is what Robin Uthappa had advised to young Yashasvi Jaiswal, who appears to be in the form of his life this year. After a solid domestic season, he has lit up the IPL having scored 575 runs in 12 matches at an impressive average of 52.27 and a superb strike rate of 167.15.

Jaiswal came very close to achieving Yuvraj Singh’s most iconic display of intent – the 12-ball fifty from 2007. He hit the fastest fifty in just 13 balls, as Rajasthan Royals hammered Kolkata Knight Riders by nine wickets. Jaiswal’s astonishing innings was the joint-second fastest in T20 history after Singh clubbed a half century off only 12 balls against England at the 2007 World Cup in South Africa.

Yashaswi Jaiswal of Rajasthan Royals 50 off 13 during match 56 of the Tata Indian Premier League between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Rajasthan Royals held at the Eden Gardens Stadium, Kolkata| Courtesy: Ron Gaunt / SPORTZPICS for IPL

Jaiswal's batting stats in IPL

Career 35 1122 124 33.00 149.60 1 7
2023 12 575 124 52.27 167.15 1 4
2022 10 258 68 25.80 132.99 0 2
2021 10 249 50 24.90 148.21 0 1
2020 3 40 34 13.33 90.90 0 0

Jaiswal hit six fours and three sixes on his way to his 50 in front of a stunned Eden Gardens, beating the previous record of 14 balls in the IPL held jointly by KL Rahul and Pat Cummins. He said that his favourite shot is the straight drive but this year, he has scored many more unbelievable shots, that aren’t just indicative of his skill but also his improved hitting prowess. He set another record by scoring 26 runs in the first over, the most ever by a batter off the first six balls in either innings of an IPL match.

Rohit Sharma too was in awe of the 21-year-old’s changed style after his prolific 64-ball 124 in Mumbai. The India and MI captain had said after their encounter, “I was just asking him, ‘Where is that power coming from.’ Because last year I did not see so many sixes. He was timing it so nicely. He said he’s been spending a lot of time in the gym which is good because he has got a lot of talent and the kind of domestic season he has had, he has taken that form into the IPL. I wish that he continues that form. It’s good for him, for Indian cricket and obviously good for RR.”

The left-hander was on the cusp of scoring yet another century but missed out as Rajasthan chased down the modest target of 150 with a massive 41 balls to spare, with Jaiswal unbeaten on 98 with 12 fours and five sixes off 47.

“This is always in my mind, to go out there and play well. It was a nice feeling today,” Jaiswal said after the match against KKR.

“It is not like everything I wanted happens, I prepare well and I trust in myself. I prepare well and trust myself to execute my shots. I know the results will come. I wanted to finish the game and winning the game was my motto. The winning shot was a great feeling, I wanted to finish the game and winning the game has been my motto. I’m blessed and grateful, I’m trying my best,” the player-of-the-match said.

“I was only thinking about the net run rate (for Rajasthan) and not my century. Me and Sanju were only talking about finishing the game quickly.”

Watch: I will remember this knock for a long time – Yashasvi Jaiswal

‘What I’m today is because of my downfalls’

Although contrasting in experience and their journeys in cricket, RR showcased two match-winners and record-breakers on Thursday. Chahal’s feat may have slipped away from the limelight a bit following Jaiswal’s herculean effort but it is one for the history books, regardless.

He climbed to the top of the all-time-leading wicket-takers list (187 wickets) by picking up his sixth four-wicket haul in the IPL. He had already equalled Bravo’s 183 wickets in RR’s game against Sunrisers Hyderabad and against KKR, he comfortably reached top of the chart with the four-for, that displayed his guile once again.

There was a confident yet assured aura around his celebration when he removed Nitish Rana in his very first over and thereby became IPL’s leading wicket-taker – the assurance that comes with the hard-earned knowledge that his conventional brand of leg-spin was good enough to belong at this stage, even as questions about him were raised time and again.

He had been a vital cog in Royal Challengers Bangalore’s line-up for eight years before he was let go by them. He picked up 139 wickets in 113 matches. It was a decision that surprised everybody. A penny for their thoughts, now.

But after his switch to RR, he has picked up more than 20 wickets in both seasons.

Chahal's bowling stats in the IPL

Career 143 3125 3979 187 5/40 21.28 7.64 16.71 6 1
2023 12 269 355 21 4/17 16.90 7.92 12.81 3 0
2022 17 408 527 27 5/40 19.52 7.75 15.11 1 1
2021 15 318 374 18 3/11 20.77 7.05 17.66 0 0
2020 15 343 405 21 3/18 19.28 7.08 16.33 0 0
2019 14 296 386 18 4/38 21.44 7.82 16.44 1 0
2018 14 300 363 12 2/22 30.25 7.26 25.00 0 0
2017 13 261 333 14 3/16 23.78 7.65 18.64 0 0
2016 13 295 401 21 4/25 19.09 8.15 14.04 1 0
2015 15 281 415 23 3/40 18.04 8.86 12.21 0 0
2014 14 330 386 12 2/17 32.16 7.01 27.50 0 0
2013 1 24 34 0 0/34 - 8.50 - 0 0

Chahal acknowledged that it was his topsy-turvy journey that was his biggest teaching. It was a journey that also saw him miss out on the T20 World Cup in 2021.

Reflecting on the rollercoaster, Chahal said: “I was with Mumbai Indians for three years (when I started) but my journey actually started from 2014. There have been a lot of ups and downs and I’ve enjoyed a lot too. I’ve learnt from my downs, and what I’m today is because of my downfalls and because of all the support I’ve got along the way from family and friends.”

On Thursday, at the halfway stage, the hosts were 76/2 and looking to build upon it. However, Chahal’s brain which is wired to deal with moves on the chessboard had some moves ready for the KKR batters too. After dismissing Rana for 22, he was hit for 15 runs in his second over as Venkatesh Iyer started to attack.

However, accustomed to coming back strongly, Iyer and Thakur were dismissed by Chahal within a span of four deliveries, while the in-form Rinku Singh holed out in his last over. As a result, KKR were stifled for a mere 149/8 by the leg-spinner, who finished with 4/25.

With a home World Cup around the corner, Chahal’s case as India’s go-to leg-spinner is finding merit again. He is also the current Purple Cap holder with 21 wickets. More fearless, attacking and bold in his approach, Chahal’s grown experience makes him a top contender for national colours.

“I think it is time to give him the tag of legend,” Samson said after the match. “We are grateful to have him in the franchise. Never have to speak to him, give him the ball and he knows what to do. He bowls at the death as well, very pleasing for me as a captain.”

On a memorable night for Royals at Eden Gardens, the two record-breakers had plenty to be proud of.