Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 20 May 2019

Rishabh Pant steals Ajinkya Rahane's thunder as Delhi beat Rajasthan to top IPL table

Rahane's century in vain as Pant's unbeaten 78 guides Capitals to six-wicket win

Delhi Capitals batsman Rishabh Pant scored an unbeaten half-century against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur on Monday. AFP
Delhi Capitals batsman Rishabh Pant scored an unbeaten half-century against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur on Monday. AFP

Rishabh Pant gave India cricket selectors another reminder of his considerable abilities as he scored an unbeaten half-century to guide Delhi Capitals to a six-wicket win against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur on Monday night.

Pant smashed four sixes and six fours en route to 78 not out as the Capitals equalled defending champions Chennai Super Kings' tally of 14 points to top the Indian Premier League table.

By playing a heroic knock for his franchise, wicketkeeper-batsman Pant will have made a statement after being surprisingly left out of India's Cricket World Cup squad. The selectors opted for experience over potential by picking Dinesh Karthik.

The other Delhi batsmen to shine included Shikhar Dhawan (54), who has been picked for India in cricket's flagship tournament to be held in England and Wales from May 30-July 14. There was also a cameo from Prithvi Shaw, Dhawan's opening partner, who chimed in with a well-compiled 42 as Delhi overhauled Rajasthan's total of 191-6.

Rajasthan Royals opener Ajinkya Rahane scored his first IPL hundred since 2012. AFP
Rajasthan Royals opener Ajinkya Rahane scored his first IPL hundred since 2012. AFP

The night belonged to Pant, and that is saying something given how good an innings Rajasthan opener Ajinkya Rahane played as the deposed captain scored 105 not out, carrying his bat for the home team.

Rahane, the Indian Test vice-captain who has been out of the limited-overs sides over the past year, hit three sixes and 11 fours as his unbeaten hundred came from just 63 balls.

It was a knock that reminded everybody of what an asset he once was across formats for his national side. Such was the quality of his innings, he managed to overshadow captain Steve Smith who posted 50 off just 32 balls.

In the end, however, Rajasthan ended up losing again keeping them rooted to the bottom of the table, along with Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The Royals next face Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens on Thursday, while the Capitals host Bangalore on Sunday.

Updated: April 23, 2019 12:10 PM

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