• Monday, May 20, 2024

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Rishabh Pant leads Delhi to six-wicket win over Gujarat

Rishabh Pant was named Player of the Match for his brilliant performance. (Photo: Getty Images)

Vivek MishraBy: Vivek Mishra

Delhi Capitals, guided by Rishabh Pant’s leadership and sharp wicketkeeping, secured a decisive six-wicket victory over Gujarat Titans, who were restricted to their IPL season-low score of 89 on Wednesday.

In the match held in Ahmedabad, Delhi’s medium-pacer Mukesh Kumar delivered an outstanding performance, claiming 3-14, and playing a pivotal role in dismantling Gujarat’s lineup in just 17.3 overs. Following the dismissal, Delhi efficiently chased down the target in 8.5 overs.

Despite missing the services of the injured David Warner, Delhi Capitals managed their third victory of the season and their second in a row, moving up three spots to sixth place in the league standings.

Rishabh Pant, making a comeback in this IPL season after a severe car accident, remained not out at 16, complementing Australian batsman Jake Fraser-McGurk who scored a quick 20 runs. Pant, a 26-year-old left-handed batsman, has now accumulated 210 runs this season, including two fifties, enhancing his prospects for the upcoming T20 World Cup in June.

“I’m very pleased,” said Pant, who was named man of the match. “We discussed having a champion mindset, and that’s been a focus in our team discussions.”

Regarding his return post-recovery, Pant remarked, “My main focus coming back to the field was to improve. That was my mindset throughout my rehabilitation. I’m enjoying every match and just being on the field.”

Pant’s recovery followed serious injuries sustained in December 2022 when his car hit a barrier, overturned, and caught fire. He was initially hospitalized and later airlifted to Mumbai for further medical procedures.

The match saw early setbacks for Gujarat as India’s fast bowler Ishant Sharma removed captain Shubman Gill in the second over. Gujarat struggled throughout their innings, losing wickets at regular intervals due to disciplined bowling from Delhi.

Defensive play from Delhi was also on point, with Sumit Kumar executing a direct throw to run out Sai Sudarshan for 12. Pant showcased his agility behind the stumps with a flying catch to dismiss David Miller off Ishant’s bowling and completed two stumpings, removing Abhinav Manohar and Shahrukh Khan in quick succession.

Despite Rashid Khan’s effort to steady the innings with a gritty 31 off 24 balls, he eventually succumbed, caught behind off Pant’s glove work.

Reflecting on the team’s performance, Gill stated, “Our batting was very average today, but it’s important to move on and come back stronger. The pitch was fine; it didn’t contribute to the dismissals.”

This season, Gujarat’s score stands in stark contrast to some of the higher totals recorded, including two record-breaking scores of 277 and 287 by Sunrisers Hyderabad.

 

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