Rishabh Pant played one of the most incredible knocks of the VIVO IPL ever but even his blazing century wasn’t enough as Sunrisers Hyderabad overcame a challenging 188-run target with ease. A clinical batting display from Shikhar Dhawan and captain Kane Williamson resulted in an unbroken 176 runs stand that decimated the run chase and ensured their playoff berth. On the other hand, a nine-wicket drubbing has ended the home team’s playoff campaign.
On a pitch that looked slow, nobody would have expected that close to 380 runs will be scored in the match. The home team first lost both their openers in the fourth over and suffered another twin blow when captain Shreyas Iyer and pinch-hitter Harshal Patel were run-out. On both occasions, Pant was the non-striker. He continued to remain in the thick of things as he launched a counter-attack.
He smashed the ball with his brute force and took on every SRH bowler. By the time he got his fifty, it was mayhem as he was clearing the ropes with ease. While scoops are difficult to execute, Pant has gone a step further with his version of reverse scoops. It not only provided a visual delight but brought him plenty of runs. He brought up his century in just 56 balls and it was also the tournament’s 50th century. He finished unbeaten on 128 from 63 and ended up getting the highest IPL score by an Indian.
The Sunrisers came out with a positive mindset and even though they lost Alex Hales early, there was no drop in intensity. Williamson, who joined Dhawan batted freely and the two rotated the strike regularly. While Dhawan was the aggressor, Williamson was equally brilliant from the other end. Dhawan brought up his fifty in 30 balls and Williamson got to the mark in 38 balls. They continued to attack and found the big overs as the Daredevils tried every trick to end the partnership. In the end, the total was overhauled with seven balls to spare.
Stand out batting performance
There was not one area in the ground where Rishabh Pant did not score runs. The unstoppable left-hander smashed the ball hard when hitting down the ground and was extremely nimble and alert when effortlessly scooping the ball over slips. Some of his shots were so breathtaking that it even made Williamson smile as he watched in amazement.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is one of the finest T20 bowlers in the world, but Pant did not spare him either. Bhuvneshwar bowled 11 balls to Pant and ended up conceding a whopping 43 runs
Notable Support Act – Batting
His team was under pressure but Kane Williamson was cool and calm as he anchored another chase to perfection. He provided a wonderful support to Shikhar Dhawan as the two raised an unbeaten 176 runs stand. This was Williamson’s second straight fifty and sixth in the tournament. He is currently the second in the leading run-getters list behind leader Rishabh Pant.
Stand out bowling performance
Introduced into the attack in the fourth over, Shakib Al Hasan gave his team a huge lead as he struck twice in the over. First, he got rid of the dangerous Prithvi Shaw on the fourth ball and then on the next, removed Prithvi’s opening partner, Jason Roy. Shakib’s four overs were highly economical, as he away just 27 runs.
Stat of the Match:
Rishabh Pant’s 128 is now the highest score by an Indian in VIVO IPL. It is also the highest T20 score by an Indian.
Brief Scores: Delhi Daredevils 187/5 in 20 overs (Rishabh Pant 128*; Shakib Al Hasan 2/27) lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad 191/1 in 18.5 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 92*, Kane Williamson 83*) by 9 wickets
Man of the Match: Shikhar Dhawan, for his unbeaten 92 off 50 balls