What could probably be a bittersweet moment in Rishabh Pant’s career, his maiden IPL century eventually accounted for nothing because two other batsmen from the opposition showed just how it is to be done.
Young Pant’s brilliant batting took the Delhi Daredevils to 187/5 and when the teams went in at the break, both sides may have been equally confident of victory.
In the end, a good mix of application, cool heads and big hitting saw the Sunrisers through.
Chasing 188 for victory may have seemed daunting for Hyderabad who have thus far defended smaller totals.
Even though they lost Alex Hales early, it was the approach in reaching the target that made all the difference.
Shikhar Dhawan who has not capitalised on starts this season converted it into a big one on Thursday.
At the other end Captain Kane Williamson has had a wonderful IPL season with half centuries under his belt.
Together, Kane and Shikhar batted with common sense, belting the bad balls to the boundary while picking up the ones and twos.
Once Shahbaz Nadeem was introduced into the attack, 14 runs were taken off him in the 13th. Kane and Shikhar just tore into Delhi’s bowling.
With 36 needed off the last 5 overs, Liam Plunkett was given another go and to the cleaners he went, hammered by Williamson who pulled his rubbish bowling over fine leg for a 6 and in the over ran another six runs with Dhawan to take 12 runs off and reduce the margin to 6 runs an over.
From there on, Kane and Shikhar took the game calmly over the line to book a berth in the playoffs and all but end Delhi’s chances of progressing in the competition.