Pant passes with flying colours as Delhi outclass Chennai

James Jose/Mumbai
Filed on April 10, 2021
Shikhar Dhawan of Delhi Capitals hits a boundary as MS Dhoni looks on. — IPL

Dhawan top scored with 85, which earned him the Man of the Match accolade

This was billed as a contest between the master and his protege and on the evidence of it, the apprentice Rishabh Pant showed that he had imbibed some valuable lessons from the warhorse MS Dhoni. Pitted against the man himself in his first test as captain, and that too in a cauldron that is the IPL, Pant emerged with flying colours at the Wankhede, the very venue of MSD’s epic 2011 World Cup-winning six.

It may still be early days yet to pass judgment and he is yet to earn his stripes, but coming as it did against the shrewd old fox, it bodes well. The verdict was a commanding one as the Delhi Capitals aced a steep chase quite convincingly, to get over the line by seven wickets and with eight deliveries to spare.

Chennai Super Kings, the three-time champions, had gone through to a stop-start kind of an innings to muster 188, following a half-century from comeback man Suresh Raina as well as Sam Curran and Ravindra Jadeja’s heroics at the back end.

But Delhi showed that it was a tad too little to pose a threat with the openers Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan’s century partnership more or less making it a no contest. Shaw, who has been in rollicking form this season in domestic cricket, with scores of 105 not out, 227, 185 not out and 165, helping Mumbai win the Vijay Hazare Trophy, blitzed his way to a 27-ball half-century. Shaw had earned two reprieves along the way, dropped by Mitchell Santner on 38 and by Ruturaj Gaikwad on 47, both off Moeen Ali.

Dhawan top scored with 85, which earned him the Man of the Match accolade. Pant was there to shepherd them home at the end.

“Actually, it was special for me captaining in the IPL and toss with MS. I have learnt from him and he’s my go-to man,” Pant told the host broadcaster.

The Delhi Capitals were without their first choice pace attack of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje are undergoing the mandatory quarantine after arriving in India on April 6. But Chris Woakes and Avesh Khan stepped in seamlessly.

“It was good, once you win the match everything is good. In the middle, I was under pressure, but good job from Avesh (Khan) and the bowlers. We thought whatever we have we have to work around this and put the best playing XI. We just wanted to finish the match before one over, we didn’t think about the run-rate. Prithvi and Shikhar did a good job for us in the powerplay,” added the 23-year-old.

Meanwhile, MS Dhoni said: “A lot depended on how much dew you would get. That’s the reason we wanted to get as many runs as possible. The first few overs it was a bit tacky, and the batters did well to get to 188. Coming to bowling, we could have done better.”


Chennai Super Kings

R Gaikwad c Dhawan b Woakes 5

F du Plessis lbw b Avesh Khan 0

M Ali c Dhawan b Ashwin 36

S Raina run out (Woakes/Pant) 54

A Rayudu c Dhawan b Curran 23

R Jadeja not out 26

MS Dhoni b Avesh Khan 0

S Curran b Woakes 34

Extras (lb7, nb1, w2) 10

Total (7 wkts, 20 overs) 188

Fall of wickets: 1-7 (F du Plessis), 2-7 (R Gaikwad), 3-60 (M Ali), 4-123 (A Rayudu), 5-137 (S Raina), 6-137 (MS Dhoni), 7-188 (S Curran)

Bowling: C Woakes 3-0-18-2; A Khan 4-0-23-2; R Ashwin 4-0-47-1; T Curran 4-0-40-1; A Mishra 3-0-27-0; M Stoinis 2-0-26-0

Delhi Capitals

P Shaw c Ali b Bravo 72

S Dhawan lbw b Thakur 85

R Pant not out 15

M Stoinis c Curran b Thakur 14

S Hetmyer not out 0

Extras (nb1, w3) 4

Total (3 wkts, 18.4 overs) 190

Fall of wickets: 1-138 (Prithvi Shaw), 2-167 (Shikhar Dhawan), 3-186 (Marcus Stoinis)

Bowling: D Chahar 4-0-36-0; S Curran 2-0-24-0; S Thakur 3.4-0-53-2; R Jadeja 2-0-16-0; M Ali 3-0-33-0; D Bravo 4-0-28-1

Man of the match: Shikhar Dhawan

Toss: Delhi Capitals

Umpires: Anil Chaudyary, Virender Sharma

TV umpire: Sundaram Ravi

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