IPL 2019: Delhi Capitals' Rishabh Pant power cuts Mumbai Indians
Delhi Capitals' Rishabh rocks with 27-ball 78 as visitors post 213-6 at the Wankhede; three-time champs Mumbai Indians lose by 37 runs
Every India player knows how important the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League is for their World Cup berth, never mind if skipper Virat Kohli has said that performances in the T20 extravaganza won't have a bearing on selection for the 50-50 mega event. For Rishabh Pant, whose place is still not secured, it is all the more worrying.
But at the Wankhede Stadium last night, he didn't show any signs of nervousness as he blasted the Mumbai Indians bowling to all corners of the iconic ground to put Delhi Capitals in a position of sheer strength. Left-hander Pant smashed an unbeaten 78 off 27 balls (7x4, 7x6) to help DC post a massive 213 for six off their 20 overs.
MI pacer Jasprit Bumrah falls while trying to stop the ball in his follow through
In reply, the Mumbai Indians were bowled out for 176 in 19.2 overs with injured Jasprit Bumrah absent hurt. Pant walked in to do battle when Delhi lost their top three batters for 112 in 13 overs and Pant blasted away right from the start. He needed just 18 balls to reach his 50. Mumbai Indians' main bowler Bumrah was carted for two sixes and his punitive blade even frustrated the experienced Hardik Pandya and debutant Rasikh Salam Dar.
The young pacer's first game for MI as the team think-tank decided to give him the opening over. It is debatable whether he should have been given the penultimate over where he conceded 21 runs. Despite Shikhar Dhawan (43) and Colin Ingram (47) stitching an 83-run stand for the third wicket, it was Pant who made the difference.
MI's most successful bowler was pacer Mitchell McClenaghan (3-40). After dispatching him between midwicket and long-on for four, Prithvi Shaw (7) failed to negotiate the next delivery and edged one to wicketkeeper Quinton De Kock.
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