Shikhar-Kane spoil Pant party

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 May 2018 11:06:05



SHIKHAR Dhawan and Kane Williamson shared an unbeaten 176-run stand to overshadow a breathtaking hundred from Rishabh Pant as Sunrisers Hyderabad sailed into the Indian Premier League play-offs with a commanding nine-wicket victory over Delhi Daredevils here Thursday night.Delhi’s 187 for five was a challenging target but Dhawan (92 not out off 50 balls) and captain Williamson (83 not out off 53) ensured Sunrisers sauntered home in 18.5 overs. The experienced duo was a delight to watch as it completed the chase with utmost calm.Sunrisers’ brilliant performance came after Pant’s maiden IPL hundred, an epic 128 not out off 63 balls which was not enough to arrest his team’s slide.

With just six points from 11 games, Delhi are now certain to make another early exit from the tournament.Sunrisers, who lead the table with 18 points from 11 games, showed that they could not just defend small totals but also chase down stiff targets. Dhawan, due for a big score, rose to the occasion with a sublime innings that was laced with nine boundaries and four sixes. Williamson was not far behind as he breezed to his sixth fifty-plus score of the competition.
Earlier, Pant helped the Daredevils overcome a poor start to reach an imposing total. Pant was unstoppable in his unbeaten knock as he toyed with arguably the best bowling attack in the competition, single-handedly giving a fighting chance to a struggling Delhi.

His special knock comprising 15 fours and seven sixes also more than made up for his involvement in run-outs of captain Shreyas Iyer (3 off 7) and a set Harshal Patel (24 off 17).
The way Pant took on the likes of Shakib, Kaul and Bhuvenshwar Kumar was commendable.Delhi decided to put scoreboard pressure on the opposition by deciding to bat but things did not go according to plan in the powerplay.Shakib Al Hasan struck off consecutive balls in the fourth over to remove both the openers.