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Delhi Capitals cricketer Rishabh Pant plays a shot during the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals at The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on March 24, 2019. (Photo by Indranil MUKHERJEE / AFP) / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / GETTYOUT

Pant’s explosive show hands Delhi a fine start




Yuvraj Singh’s brilliant half-century went in vain as Delhi Capitals beat Mumbai Indians by 37 runs in their tournament opener at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The loss for Mumbai meant they haven’t won their opening match of the tournament since 2012.

Chasing a target of 214, Mumbai’s good start turned into bad in stunning fashion as Rohit Sharma (14) and Suryakumar Yadav (2) were dismissed in quick succession. Quinton de Kock (27), who slammed four boundaries and one six early on in the innings, too followed suit soon as he became Ishant Sharma’s second scalp of the day after Rohit.

Yuvraj Singh and Kieron Pollard steadied the Mumbai ship and put the pressure on the Delhi bowlers by hitting few boundaries. The partnership between the two was finally broken by Keemo Paul, who dismissed Pollard for 21.

Axar Patel then got into the attack as he dismissed Hardik Pandya for a golden duck. Krunal Pandya joined forces with Yuvraj and the duo reignited the MI chase. Just when things were looking good for the hosts, Boult sent back Krunal for 32.

Yuvraj kept going on the other end and completed his 15th IPL half-century off 33 deliveries. But the scoreboard pressure got to him and he was finally dismissed for 53 by Kagiso Rabada.

Jasprit Bumrah, who sustained an injury during the last ball of the Delhi innings, didn’t come out to bat and that meant Delhi won the match with four balls to spare.

Earlier, wicket-keeper-batsman Rishabh Pant scored an unbeaten 78 off 27 deliveries to power Delhi to 213/6 in 20 overs and his stunning innings included seven sixes and seven boundaries. Pant’s strike rate at the end of the innings read 288.8.

Pant took the attack to the Mumbai bowlers in the latter stages of the innings after South African Colin Ingram (47) and opener Shikhar Dhawan (43) put Delhi in a strong position following a bad start that saw them lose couple of early wickets.

Pant’s whirlwind innings began with him taking apart Mumbai all-rounder Hardik Pandya. The southpaw hit him for two sixes and a four in the 16th overs. He struck two sixes and a four off debutant Rasikh Salam in the 19th over.

Pant didn’t spare Jasprit Bumrah as well as he hit few sixes off his bowling as well. Pant was ably supported by Rahul Tewatia, who also hit a huge six in the last over of the innings off Bumrah.


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