World Cup discard Pant hits 78 to help Delhi take IPL top spot
JAIPUR, India, April 23, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Rishabh Pant Monday said the
thought of missing out on World Cup selection was on his mind as he hit a
match-winning 78 to lead Delhi Capitals to the top of the Indian Premier
The 21-year-old Pant, who was not picked in the preliminary 15-man Indian
squad for the 50-over showpiece event in England and Wales, helped Delhi
outplay Rajasthan Royals by six wickets in Jaipur.
He smashed six fours and four sixes including the winning hit over the
fence during his 36-ball unbeaten knock as Delhi achieved their target of 192
in 19.2 overs.
“Feels really good to make your team win a crucial match,” Pant said after
receiving the man of the match award.
Dinesh Karthik was prefered as second wicket keeper in the Indian squad,
but Pant said he had tried to concentrate on Monday’s match.
“I won’t lie that the thought wasn’t running through my mind, but I just
focus on my process and that’s what I was doing,” said Pant.
Pant, who is often accused of throwing away his wicket, built crucial
partnerships, including an 84-run third-wicket stand with Prithvi Shaw, who
Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan laid the platform for Delhi’s comfortable
chase as he hit 54 off 27 deliveries.
Earlier Ajinkya Rahane struck an unbeaten 105 off 63 balls days after
being replaced as Rajasthan captain by Australia’s Steve Smith to guide his
team to 191 for six.
Smith, who made 50 off 32 balls, struck his second successive half-century
after taking over the leadership role on Saturday. His knock on the weekend
came in a winning cause.
Rahane and Smith put on 130 runs for the second wicket after Sanju Samson
fell for nought in the second over of the innings.
“We probably didn’t finish off with the bat as well as we could have. I
thought (Chris) Morris and (Kagiso) Rabada executed well in the backend,”
“(For Delhi) Shikhar played a magnificent knock, and Rishabh is a powerful
young man, and he plays the ball in strange spots.”
Meanwhile the IPL announced Monday that the final of the world’s most
popular T20 league will be played on May 12 in Hyderabad.
The first qualifier is scheduled on May 7 followed by the eliminator the
next day and the second qualifier on May 10.