Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

IPL 2018: Rishabh Pant steps up to challenge Dhoni with fiery ton

IPL 2018: Rishabh Pant steps up to challenge Dhoni with fiery ton

Thanks to Pant, Delhi amassed 135 runs in the last 10 overs.

Rishabh Pant scored an unbeaten 128 for Delhi as they posted 187 on what looked to be a slow and sluggish pitch. "But we have to improve and take wickets with the new ball", he said.

While Shreyas has aggregated 351 runs at a strike rate of 149.36 (four fifties), Pant has 393 runs to his name this season with three half-centuries. Sunrisers Hyderabad never felt the pressure and registered a nine wicket victory chasing the massive total in 18.5 overs.

"On a night when one of their batsmen scored 128 runs, we didn't allow them to reach the 200-run mark and were able to restrict them to 187, which means that at moments our bowling was really good tonight", he said.

However, once Alex Hales (14) got out, the experienced duo of Opener Shikhar Dhawan (92*) and skipper Kane Williamson (83*) chased down the score without breaking a sweat. Soon after both batsmen Harshal Patel and Pant had settled, Patel was run out for 24 runs.

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Rishabh Pant (128*) then came out at No. 4 and made his intentions very clear right from the outset with a hat-trick of boundaries against pacer Siddarth Kaul (4-48-0). But Williamson (83 not out) and Dhawan (92 not out) were in irrepressible form and taking advantage of the dew factor, they tore into the Delhi bowling.

The Delhi stumper, who became the youngest to 1000 IPL runs, immediately moved into the 90s when he clobbered Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan for a four and a six off consecutive balls before treating Bhuvneshwar Kumar with disdain.

Hyderabad's Shakib Al Hasan picked up two wickets giving away 27 runs. "It was a harsh defeat for our team as the wicket got better in the second innings because of dew", Pant said. Wriddhiman Saha had hit 115 against Kolkata Knight Riders after coming in to bat in the 5th over, like Pant did in this match. That was only the second six of his innings, but he proceeded to blast five more in the final overs, including taking Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-51) for three in a row to end the innings in emphatic fashion.

After Pant's fearless innings on Thursday, Ganguly had taken to Twitter to draw comparisons between the 20-year-old and the knock that Brendon McCullum had carved for KKR in Bangalore in 2008.

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