Rishabh Pant’s blitzkrieg keeps Delhi Daredevils’ IPL 2017 playoff hopes alive
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Rishabh Pant’s blitzkrieg keeps Delhi Daredevils’ IPL 2017 playoff hopes alive

Rishabh Pant blasted a magnificent 97 off 43 balls as Delhi Daredevils defeated Gujarat Lions by 7 wickets to keep their hopes of sealing an IPL 2017 playoff spot alive.

ipl 2017 Updated: May 05, 2017 01:47 IST
IPL 2017,Delhi Daredevils vs Gujarat Lions,Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant played one of the best innings of IPL 2017 as Delhi Daredevils coasted to a much-needed win over Gujarat Lions. (BCCI )

Rishabh Pant showed that he is the next big thing in Indian cricket after he blasted 97 off 43 balls to guide Delhi Daredevils to a 7-wicket win over Gujarat Lions in the 2017 Indian Premier League encounter at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Thursday. (DD vs GL Highlights)

The left-hander, who had not set the tournament on fire after his magnificent showing in the domestic circuit in 2016/17, chose the right occasion to display his talent. (DD vs GL Scorecard)

Chasing 209 against a Gujarat Lions side that were determined to stay in the competition, Delhi Daredevils lost Karun Nair cheaply. In stepped Pant and along with Sanju Samson, he proceeded to change the course of the match.

The left-hander started in blazing fashion as he thumped Basil Thampi over deep extra cover for a magnificent six. However, he opened up in the fifth over bowled by Pradeep Sangwan as he slammed two consecutive sixes and a four. The first six was flicked over deep backward square leg while the second was launched over wide long on.

Pant continued to deal in sixes as he launched legspinner Ankit Soni for another six straight down the ground. He continued to bat aggressively as he slammed a boundary off Suresh Raina to deep cover thanks to a misfield from Dwayne Smith and he notched up his landmark by blasting Raina over deep mid wicket for his fifth six to notch up his third fifty in the Indian Premier League.

After going past 50, Pant refused to back down. He tore into James Faulkner by blasting a four and three sixes. He was in prime and he raced into the 90s by slamming Ravindra Jadeja over long on for a big six and moving closer to his hundred with a boundary over cover.

On 97, he edged a ball from Basil Thampi and he stood aghast as he missed out on his century. However, in a gesture of great sportsmanship, Raina ran over and congratulated the young batsman on his achievement. He may have missed a century, but his knock ensured Delhi Daredevils a much-needed win.

First Published: May 05, 2017 00:37 IST