Daredevils teenager Pant tames Lions
Teenager Rishabh Pant made a name for himself with a scintillating maiden Indian Premier League half-century as Delhi Daredevils thrashed leaders Gujarat Lions by eight wickets on Tuesday.
The Lions beat Delhi by just one run last week despite the best efforts of Chris Morris, but 18-year-old opener Pant emerged as one to watch with a brutal knock which set the Daredevils well on their way to gaining revenge in Rajkot.
Pant, playing only his third IPL game, smashed 69 from only 40 balls in a 115-run opening stand of Quinton de Kock (46 from 45) and Sanju Samson hit a six to seal an emphatic win with 16 balls to spare.
Dinesh Karthik top scored with 53 off 43 deliveries as the Lions posted 149-7, which was not enough to prevent them from suffering back-to-back defeats as the Daredevils moved just two points behind them in a share of second spot.
The Lions were in the mire on 24-3 after spinner Shahbaz Nadeem (2-23) got rid of Devon Smith (15) and the fit-again Aaron Finch (5) in the fourth over following Brendon McCullum's early departure.
Wicketkeeper batsman Karthik led the rebuilding job with a composed knock which included just five boundaries, with Ravindra Jadeja (36 not out off 26) taking the role of aggressor.
Delhi had no such trouble at the start of their innings, Pant leading the onslaught with some glorious strokes and left-hander De Kock offering great support.
Pant needed only 25 balls to reach 50 and launched two sixes as well as nine fours before being sent on his way after Karthik had missed a stumping chance, with De Kock just missing out on a half-century before Samson launched Jadeja over the ropes to finish off the job.