Rishabh Pant’s pyrotechnics helped Delhi Capitals begin its campaign with a comfortable 37-run win against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.
When Mitchell McClenaghan enticed Prithvi Shaw into an edge in the second over and Kieron Pollard latched on to a cover drive off Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer in PowerPlay, Rohit Sharma’s decision to insert its opponent looked vindicated.
However, the left-handed trio of Shikhar Dhawan, Colin Ingram and Pant took the game away from Mumbai. After Dhawan and Ingram’s 83-run association for the third wicket off 56 balls set the stage for Pant, the Delhi dasher steamrollered the attack in the final overs to take the game beyond Mumbai’s reach.
Thanks to Pant’s furious onslaught, Capitals scored 99 off the last six overs to set Mumbai a mammoth target of 214. In its bid to chase down the highest successful total at Wankhede in the IPL, the host finished at 176. Yuvraj Singh, making his debut for his sixth franchise, was the highest-scorer with 53.
Bumrah… down and out?
The night belonged to Pant. He attempted audacious strokes initially and received a calming word from Dhawan.
At the end of the 14th over, Pant was batting on one off five balls. However, once he clipped Ben Cutting off his legs in the next over, the run flow began.
As many as 58 off his 78 runs were scored on the on-side, including seven sixes. The stroke of the evening was when he whipped Jasprit Bumrah off his legs in the 18th over to bring up his 50 off just 18 balls.
Off his 27 balls, Pant had just six dot balls, seven fours, seven sixes, a two and six singles.
The last off his singles, coming off the final ball of the innings, gave Mumbai as well as the Indian selectors and fans a cause for concern as Bumrah appeared to have stretched his left shoulder while trying to stop the ball in his followthrough.
The speedster, who went down in pain, was up on his feet a couple of minutes later.
That Bumrah didn’t walk out to bat meant that the injury was more serious than everyone would have hoped.