Rishabh Pant was out for 97 in a Delhi Daredevils vs Gujrat Lions Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 match.(PTI)
Rishabh Pant was out for 97 in a Delhi Daredevils vs Gujrat Lions Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 match.(PTI)

Why Delhi Daredevils’ IPL 2017 hero Rishabh Pant was fearless in huge chase

Rishabh Pant, who blasted a magnificent 97 off 43 balls to help Delhi Daredevils chase down 209 against Gujarat Lions, says he wanted to finish the game quickly and that he was not thinking about his century.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Siddharth Vishwanathan
UPDATED ON MAY 06, 2017 12:14 AM IST

Rishabh Pant displayed his brilliance at a vital time as his 97 off 43 balls, combined with his 143-run stand with Sanju Samson for second wicket, helped Delhi Daredevils win by seven wickets in pursuit of 209 against Gujarat Lions at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Thursday.

Pant’s knock not only helped Delhi Daredevils achieve their highest successful chase in the IPL, but they knocked Gujarat Lions out of the play-off race. However, in the course of Delhi Daredevils’ epic win, the left-hander missed out on a well-deserved ton when he edged Basil Thampi to Dinesh Karthik. The disappointment was evident as he trudged off the field but speaking in the post-match press conference, Pant said he was not thinking about the century.

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

“I was not thinking about those three runs, I just wanted to ensure that we chased down the total down quickly. If I would have gotten the three runs, I would have been able to finish the match,” Pant said.

Keeping it simple

Pant started off in dazzling fashion by slamming Thampi over deep cover for a six. He dealt primarily in fours and sixes as he notched up the fifty off 27 balls. The highlight of his innings was when he smashed James Faulkner for three sixes and one four.

Speaking on his knock, Pant said that he wanted to play his normal game. “If I see the ball, I will just hit. I was not thinking whether I will get out. If the ball is bad, I will punish it,” the left-hander said.

Read | IPL 2017: Delhi Daredevils vs Gujarat Lions, highlights: Pant, Samson power DD to 7-wicket win

In previous games, Pant has been batting up the order but in the last couple of games, he has been promoted and this has helped his game. “I was batting lower down the order in some games. I was coming to bat after 15 overs. Now, I have full time to settle and play my normal shots,” he added.

Pitch was much better

In both games played at the Feroz Shah Kotla in May, Delhi Daredevils have chased down 186 and now 209. The Delhi youngster said the pitch used in this match was much better but it was good bowling at the death which restricted Gujarat Lions.

“Pitch was on better side. They (Gujarat Lions) also scored plenty of runs. We stopped them from scoring more towards the end,” Pant added. In between overs 15 and 19 of the Gujarat Lions innings, Delhi Daredevils conceded just 33 runs, having taken the wickets of the well-set Suresh Raina (77) and Dinesh Karthik (65).

With Gujarat Lions out of the play-off race, Delhi Daredevils will be hoping to continue their push for the play-offs as they take on table-toppers Mumbai Indians in their next match.

Story Saved