RISHABH Rishabh Pant’s explosive 128 not out off 63 balls failed to prevent Glenn Maxwell’s Delhi Daredevils suffering a nine-wicket defeat to Sunrisers Hyderabad and being knocked out of the Indian Premier League.
Batting first, Pant rescued the Daredevils from a precarious 2-21 to script a fine turnaround after both Delhi openers Jason Roy (11) and Prithwi Shaw (9) were lost off successive balls to Shakib Al Hasan in the fourth over. And Pant was involved in a horrible mix-up that resulted in skipper Shreyas Iyer (3) getting run-out going for a non-existent single.
But the keeper-batsman then took charge of proceedings as he put on 55 runs off 38 balls for the fourth wicket with Harshal Patel (24).
Pant reached his half-century off 36 balls and then accelerated further, scoring 79 off the last 28 balls he faced at an astounding strike-rate of 282.14. While Patel was run out and Australian Maxwell (9) fell cheaply, Pant reached his maiden IPL hundred off 56 balls, which included 15 fours and seven sixes, as Delhi’s posted 5-187.
At 20 years and 218 days, he became the second youngest Indian batsman after Manish Pandey (in 2009) to score an IPL century. It was the also highest individual score for an Indian batsman in IPL history, eclipsing Murali Vijay’s 127 (for Chennai Super Kings) in 2010.
It was also the highest individual score by a batsman in the current tournament but Pant’s effort’s ultimately proved in vain as Shikhar Dhawan scored 92 not out off 50 balls and Kiwi Kane Williamson 83 not out off 53 balls to put on 176 runs for the unbeaten second wicket to secure a spot in the knockout round for Hyderabad.
Hyderabad didn’t make the best start with Alex Hales (14) adding only 15 with Dhawan. But he and Williamson weren’t parted until the end thereafter. Their 50 partnership came off 34 balls, and expanded to a century-stand off 62 balls.
In doing so, Dhawan scored his second half-century of the season off 30 balls. For Williamson, this was his sixth half-century, coming off 38 balls. Their partnership crossed 150 off 88 balls and they never really looked in any bother as Delhi ran bereft of ideas.