Delhi Capitals on Wednesday defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by two wickets in Visakhapatnam’s ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium. Delhi’s Keemo Paul gave the final touches to a Rishabh Pant blitzkrieg in what was a nerve-wracking Indian Premier League (IPL) match.
The Delhi franchise will now face Chennai Super Kings in the second Qualifier in their bid to make it to the maiden IPL final against Mumbai Indians.
Dispatching the ball deep into the stands is in Rishabh Pant’s “muscle memory” and that’s why he doesn’t need to look at who is bowling to him once he is in a mood to go hammer and tongs. The 21-year-old hit five sixes in his 21-ball-49 to guide his side to a crucial victory.
“In T20s, you need 40 off 20 or so, then you have to attack one bowler. I don’t see who’s bowling. It’s in our muscle memory, and that’s why we practice so much. Today, that was special because I didn’t try to hit the ball too hard. I was just watching the ball, and I was trying to time the ball.”
Pant also said that he ensured that the mindset remains positive when the team is going for improbable chases.
“If you are set on a wicket like this, you have to finish the match for your team. I took it very close, but next time I will finish it for the team. (Pressure) I just try to be positive. If your mindset is negative, it doesn’t help,” said Pant.
Prithvi Shaw, who scored the only half-century of the match thanked the support staff for keeping faith in him despite inconsistent performances.
“All this is dedicated to my team as they have backed me quite well. I wasn’t scoring runs in the last few games. All thanks to support staff, players and coaches for believing in me and giving the opportunity as well. I was a bit nervous but my coaching staff helped me,” Shaw said, having scored 56 off 38 balls.
“I believed in myself to get my form back and went in there and played my natural game. These kinds of games I am always nervous. Rishabh batted beautifully. Whenever we needed him, he is always there for us.”
Their young captain Shreyas Iyer was also ecstatic. “(Last over) I can’t express my emotions. I was sitting and those last two overs were like a hell [laughs]. An amazing feeling (to win) and I could see the happiness in everyone’s faces. The joy we share after winning was good.
(With PTI Inputs)