Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Pant ton in vain as Dhawan, Williamson seal SRH's play-off spot

20:42     
                
       Williamson stars again as Sunrisers 20:42 Williamson stars again as Sunrisers
Domingo Copeland | 13 May, 2018, 00:23

But skipper Kane Williamson and back-to-form Shikhar Dhawan put up a superb batting display to help Hyderabad clinch a comprehensive nine-wicket win with seven balls to spare and consolidate their position at the top.

Coming to the crease at the start of the fifth over, Rishabh Pant wasted no time in showing why he's been the leading run-scorer so far in IPL 11. Delhi Daredevils won the toss and opted to bat first. "But we have to improve and take wickets with the new ball", he said.

Pant, who now has 582 runs, bettered Gautam Gambhir's long-standing record for most runs in a single edition. It has indeed been a disappointing season for them despite possessing young talent like Pant, skipper Shreyas Iyer and Prithvi Shaw. "I don't know if it's my best knock but till now it's one of my best", he said.

Harshal Patel was handed a surprise promotion and he did well by contributing 24 off 17 balls before getting run-out.

Dhawan struck 92 (50b, 9x4, 4x6), packing off the DD bowlers to all corners of the Ferozeshah Kotla - his home ground otherwise - in the able company of captain Kane Williamson, who came good again with a 53-ball 83.

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Despite leaking runs, they chased down their highest total this season that too with 9 wickets in the bag to leave a huge footprint on the tournament. The way Pant attacked Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan was marvellous and this innings will surely give Pant confidence and it will reaffirm that he belongs at the worldwide level and despite Delhi's dismal season, Pant has turned a corner and his India recall is not far away.

Even an otherwise economical swing bowler like Bhuvneshwar Kumar was hit for 51 runs in his four overs, with Pant showing his class in the final over of the innings bowled by Bhuvi.

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. He then took on Shahbaz Nadeem, the left-arm spinner, hitting him for two sixes in the 13th over.

Dhawan and Williamson were in blistering form as they toyed with hapless bowling of Delhi. Pant completed his century off 56 balls when he hit Kaul for a boundary in the penultimate over.

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