Pant masterclass gets new Delhi era off to winning start

By Peter Thompson 25 March 2019 133
Pant masterclass gets new Delhi era off to winning start

Rishabh Pant blasted a brutal unbeaten half-century to set up a 37-run Indian Premier League victory for the rebranded Delhi Capitals over Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium.

Pant smashed 78 not out from only 27 balls as the Capitals - formerly the Daredevils - made an imposing 213-6 in their first match of the tournament on Sunday.

Colin Ingram (47) and Shikhar Dhawan (43) put on 83 for the third wicket after Mitchell McClenaghan (3-40) took two early scalps, then Pant struck seven sixes and as many fours in a devastating knock.

Delhi took 99 off the last six overs, with Pant combining finesse and power in a breathtaking innings, which proved to be the difference.

New signing Yuvraj Singh made 53 from 35 balls and Krunal Pandya added a brisk 32, but Mumbai were dismissed for 176 in the final over.

Ishant Sharma took 2-34 and the excellent Kagiso Rabada 2-23 in a promising start to a new era for Delhi.

 

PANT PUMMELS INDIANS

Dhawan and Ingram put the Capitals well on their way to posting a daunting total after they were reduced to 29-2.

It was the arrival of Pant that prompted the run-rate to rocket as the wicketkeeper-batsman delivered an exhibition of clean striking.

Dhawan and Ingram both holed out to deep midwicket but Pant took the impetus, with Ben Cutting and Hardik Pandya dispatched to all parts.

Pant continued to pepper the leg side and reached his fifty off only 18 balls, then set about Rasikh Salam in a penultimate over which cost 21 runs before Jasprit Bumrah was taken for 16 off the last.

 

TEWATIA STUNNER SETS THE TONE  

Ishant and Rabada kept it tight early in Mumbai's run chase and it looked certain that it would be Delhi's day when Rahul Tewatia took a stunning catch to remove Rohit Sharma.

Tewatia came in from deep square-leg to get under a skier and clung on diving forward to see the back of the Indians skipper for just 14 in the fourth over.

Shreyas Iyer ran out Suryakumar Yadav with a direct hit and Ishant sent Quinton de Kock on his way for 27 in the same over to leave the three-time champions with a mountain to climb.

Yuvraj cleared the ropes three times in an entertaining knock but wickets tumbled too frequently, South Africa paceman Rabada dismissing the former India all-rounder and Cutting as Delhi eased to a comfortable victory.

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