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Captain fantastic

Pant shines as Delhi survive late scare to steal 4-run victory against Gujarat

Captain fantastic

Skipper Rishabh Pant smashed 8 sixes and 5 fours in his 43-ball 88 not out. PTI



New Delhi, April 24

Rishabh Pant virtually sealed his spot as India’s first choice wicketkeeper for the T20 World Cup with a belligerent unbeaten half-century in Delhi Capitals’ narrow four-run win over Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League here today.

Rasikh Salam picked up three wickets. PTI

Skipper Pant and Axar Patel forged a blistering stand of 113 runs off 68 balls en route quickfire individual half-centuries to power DC to 224/4 in their must-win game.

In reply, Sai Sudarshan (65 off 29 ) and David Miller (55 off 23) scored fifties, while Rashid Khan hit an 11-ball 21 not out but still couldn’t take GT over the line, finishing at 220/8 in their 20 overs.

Sent in to bat, Pant led from the front, remaining unbeaten on 88 off 43 balls, his innings proving to be a timely reminder to the national selectors who are likely to pick him in India’s first XI against Pakistan in the World T20 match in New York barring fitness issues.

Pant’s maturity showed as he paced his innings brilliantly in company of Axar, who made 66 off 43 balls after being promoted to No. 3. His innings was studded with five fours and four sixes.

Chasing 225, GT lost skipper Shubman Gill in the second over but Wriddhiman Saha (39) played some delightful shots and together with Impact Sub Sai Sudharsan shared 82 runs for the second wicket to keep GT in the hunt. Sudharsan, who got a reprieve in the fifth over, used his long handle to great effect to notch up his fifty off 29 balls. But with the asking rate constantly creeping up, Sudharsan had to go for his shots which eventually led to his downfall.

Miller (55 off 23) then put up a show to take them closer to the target. Needing 19 runs off the last over, Rashid hit Mukesh Kumar for two fours and a six to reduce the deficit to five off the last ball. But Mukesh kept his calm to seal victory. — PTI

Brief scores

DC: 224/4 in 20 overs (Pant 88*, Axar 66; Warrier 3/15) vs GT: 220/8 in 20 overs (Sudharsan 65, Miller 55; Rasikh 3/44)

Tuesday’s result

CSK: 210/4 in 20 overs (Gaikwad 108*, Dube 66, Henry 1/28) vs LSG: 213/4 in 19.3 overs (Stoinis 124*, Pooran 34; Pathirana 2/35)

CSK looking to plug gaps

Chennai: Chennai Super Kings are not looking for a “quick fix” to their issues in the batting department and head coach Stephen Fleming is ready to give the likes of Daryl Mitchell time to get settled in top-three after their fourth loss in eight games. Following their dramatic loss to LSG at home, Fleming said they need to get their batting combinations right. “It’s a mixture of trying to find that (combination) and also form. We’re a little bit uncomfortable with some areas, so we’re trying to find the right combination,” he said. PTI

#Cricket #Gujarat #Rishabh Pant


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