Rishabh Pant’s cameo was as crucial as Shikhar Dhawan’s unbeaten fifty as Delhi Capitals coasted to their sixth win against Punjab Kings in Ahmedabad. It also meant the Delhi Capitals reached the top of the points table. Shikhar Dhawan paced his innings and the run-chase of 167 perfectly, stitching valuable partnerships with Prithvi Shaw and Steve Smith to guide Delhi to a seven-wicket win. Rishabh Pant was in awe of his opening combination and attributed his captaincy success to his seniors.
Kagiso Rabada dismissed Prabhsimran Singh and Chris Gayle, whose stumps he shattered after conceding a six. Captain Mayank Agarwal and Dawid Malan played a few glorious shots together before Axar Patel’s third over witnessed the latter’s back and Deepak Hooda after a mix-up with the skipper. Punjab Kings reached their 100 in their 15th over. Shahrukh Khan and Chris Jordan departed in the 17th and 18th, respectively.
Mayank Agarwal, who got to his half-century in the 16th over, had already begun cutting loose and did further in the last couple of overs. The last five overs yielded 75 runs, including 23 in the final. Mayank fell one short of a well-deserved hundred, laced with eight fours and four sixes.
Delhi Openers Started The Innings Very Well
Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw batted smoothly once again as they made it look much more comfortable against the likes of Mohammed Shami and Riley Meredith – Punjab’s new-ball bowlers. Off-spinner Harpreet Brar, who starred in the previous match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, broke the 63-run stand by knocking over Shaw’s off-stump. Dhawan joined hands with Steve Smith and both provided the perfect example of strike rotation, milking the ones and two against spinners without many risks. The 48-run partnership between the two came to an end, with Smith picking out Dawid Malan at deep square leg off Riley Meredith’s bowling.
The next over saw Dhawan bring up yet another fifty off Ravi Bishnoi off 35 balls. Rishabh Pant also got in the business straight away as he got off the mark with a boundary. Pant played a reverse sweep and with Shikhar Dhawan now set, Punjab bowlers could not control. By the 16th over, The runs required came down significantly as the Delhi Capitals were motoring along exceptionally well. Pant’s bat went flying in the 17th over bowled by Chris Jordan and was caught by Mayank Agarwal. Hetmyer, who struck a fifty in a losing cause against RCB, stayed till the end with Dhawan, who remained not out at 69 off 47, to finish the match with seven wickets to spare.
The competition in the team is very good: Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant credited Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw for giving the Capitals a good start, making it look like an easier chase. The 23-year old believes that the openers started incredibly well and observed that everyone performs at their best around them. Rishabh Pant conceded that they have to start trying some options before the Kolkata leg and hailed the amount of competition. Pant also revealed to enjoying the captaincy duties, using seniors’ advice and creating an environment where everyone feels good.
I think Shikhy bhai and Prithvi gave us a very good start, that’s why the innings looked much better. The first innings it was really gripping. The way they started was commendable. It feels so good when you have a great start each and every match with a mixture of youth and experience. You can see that everyone is doing so well around them. Most things are sorted out but we need to try out a few options for the Kolkata matches. The competition in the team is very good. When you see, there is a lot of gun bowling that we have. I’m enjoying everyday, using my experience, using the seniors around me. We are trying to make an environment where everyone feels good.Pant in the post-match presentation.