• Friday, April 12, 2024


Pant’s 50 helps Delhi overcome Chennai

Delhi Capitals’ captain Rishabh Pant plays a shot during the match against Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Sunday. (ANI Photo)

By: Shajil Kumar

Rishabh Pant led from the front with his first IPL fifty since his comeback from a horror car crash as Delhi Capitals beat Chennai Super Kings by 20 runs on Sunday.

Captain Pant hit 51 off 32 balls after fellow left-hander David Warner smashed 52 and helped Delhi to 191-5 in Visakhapatnam – the adopted homeground for the Capitals due to the upcoming general elections.

But the fans in the south Indian city largely represented Chennai as they chanted (M.S. Dhoni) “Dhoni, Dhoni” – the former skipper obliging with an unbeaten 37 off 16 balls, including four fours and three sixes.

Delhi restricted Chennai to 171-6 for their first win of the season and hand their opponents a loss after two opening victories.

Khaleel Ahmed returned bowling figures of 2-21 and Mukesh Kumar took three wickets.

Warner and Prithvi Shaw, who hit 43, put on an opening stand of 93 before Chennai’s bowlers hit back with wickets including Matheesha Pathirana’s two strikes in an over.

Pathirana also played a part in Warner’s dismissal after he took a stunning one-handed catch behind the stumps off an attempted reverse scoop from the left-handed Australian.

Pant, who returned to the T20 tournament after 14 months away from top level cricket, came in on the back of two innings of 18 and 28 and took time to settle in.

He started slowly but gained momentum at the backend as he smashed Pathirana for two fours and a six on successive balls, but the bowler had his revenge on the fourth.

Pathirana, known as “Baby Malinga” for his slinging action and trademark yorkers similar to the former Sri Lankan pace ace Lasith Malinga, returned figures of 3-31.

Pant walked off to a standing ovation after his first IPL fifty since 2021 and after he crashed his Mercedes north of New Delhi before dawn in December 2022.

Suffering multiple injuries when the car rammed into a crash barrier, flipped over and caught fire, Pant was rushed to hospital before being airlifted to Mumbai for further treatment and surgery.

Chennai, who witnessed a captaincy change at the start of the season when the 42-year-old Dhoni handed over the leadership to Ruturaj Gaikwad, lost two early wickets including Rachin Ravindra for two.

Ajinkya Rahane (45) and Daryl Mitchell (34) put on 68 runs in their attempt to revive the chase but the duo’s departure saw wickets fall in clusters.

In the first match of the day, Mohit Sharma’s bowling figures of 3-25 and an unbeaten 44 by David Miller powered Gujarat Titans to their second IPL win with a thrashing of Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Gujarat restricted Hyderabad to 162-8, a total they overhauled with seven wickets and five balls to spare at their home Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Hyderabad skipper Pat Cummins came to the venue with happy memories after he led Australia to the World Cup title at the 132,000-capacity stadium last year, but this time, the home team ruled. (AFP)

Pakistan Weekly

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