New Delhi: Dial Pant for power. That was the message from the Delhi Daredevils stumper-batsman, who laid into the Gujarat Lions’ scarce bowling resources with almost unthinking savagery as he and Sanju Samson dealt in sixes more than singles to fire the hosts to a one-sided, seven-wicket win at the Kotla here on Thursday.
Chasing 209, the second highest in IPL history, the two young Delhi guns made a mockery of the 10-plus per over asking rate. Given the size of the chase, Delhi crossed the line with an astounding 15 balls in hand, more than making up for all the blunders and errors they had committed in the field.
If the win margin was incredible, the strokeplay from the two was even more so. Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik had done well in a rapid 133-run retrieval job from 12 overs for the Lions. Pant and Samson made them look positively lethargic, their 143 runs for the second wicket coming off just 63 legal deliveries. Eye-popping doesn’t even begin to describe the carnage unleashed on the bowling.
Samson was finally caught off a mishit for 61 that came from 31 deliveries, had seven sixes and not a single boundary. He fell at 167, but sparring partner Rishab was not done yet, blasting away to keep the run-gathering at high tempo before nicking a slash to the wicketkeeper for 97 (43b, 6x4, 9x6).
The best of Pant’s 15 shots to the fence was a late cut, delicately executed against Pradeep Sangwan’s brisk pace — all in all, an innings that combined power and grace with oodles of class against a shell-shocked attack.
Delhi still needed 30 runs at that point, but the job was done.
Earlier, dropped twice, Raina made merry, piling up a stroke-filled 77 (43b, 5x4, 4x6) before being run out. In doing so, though, he set the tone for his side, who ended up posting 208/7, Ravindra Jadeja smacking the final two balls of the innings for sixes to help cross the double hundred mark. Raina and Karthik put together the first century stand by their team in IPL-10, authoring a rescue act that took their side from 10/2 in the second to 143/3 in the 14th over.