IPL: Pant powers Delhi to challenging total

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New Delhi, May 10 (IANS) Rishabh Pant once again stepped up to the occasion with his maiden century to rescue Delhi Daredevils from a dismal start and help them post a challenging 187/5 against Sunrisers Hyderabad in an Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the Ferozshah Kotla here on Thursday.

Involved in two avoidable run-outs, Pant compensated the miscommunication on the field with a blistering unbeaten 63-ball 128 which contained 15 boundaries and seven sixes, to arrest a careless start from the hosts.

Electing to bat, Delhi had themselves to blame for a sluggish start which saw them lose the opening duo of Prithvi Shaw and Jason Roy in consecutive deliveries before skipper Shreyas Iyer departed off a silly run-out.

Left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan left the hosts high and dry with the wickets of Shaw (9) and Roy (11) off the last two balls of his very first over.

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Shaw departed after top-edging a short delivery to the safe hands of Shikhar Dhawan at cover before Roy nicked the next delivery back to Shreevats Goswami.

Delhi immediately invited more trouble for themselves after skipper Iyer (3) was caught short of the non-striker’s end by a mile, thanks to his terrible miscommunication with Pant for the second time this season.

Fortunately for Delhi, the fall of three quick wickets did not affect Pant, whose purple patch with the bat continued and together with Harshal Patel (24 from 17 balls; 6×2) steadied the ship with a 55-run stand for the fourth wicket.

With five overs left in the innings, Delhi stared at some sort of respectability before another miscommunication between the batsmen ended Patel’s stay.

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Pant, however continued his onslaught as he launched Shakib for a massive six to bring up his half century in 36 balls even as the out-of-form Glenn Maxwell joined the southpaw in the middle.

The Delhi stumper, who became the youngest to 1000 IPL runs, immediately moved into the 90s when he clobbered Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan for a four and a six off consecutive balls before treating Bhuvneshwar Kumar with disdain.

Maxwell (9) was a mere spectator to the southpaw’s fireworks, who muscled pacer Siddharth Kaul’s full toss to the deep midwicket boundary to bring up his maiden IPL ton in mere 56 balls.

The final over of the innings saw Pant destroy Bhuvneshwar’s brilliant figures, as he milked the pacer for 26 runs, which contained two fours and three consecutive maximums.

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Brief scores: Delhi Daredevils 187/5 (Rishabh Pant 128 not out, Harshal Patel 24; Shakib Al Hasan 4/27) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad.

–IANS

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