Rishabh Pant showed both his sublime and ridiculous sides in Delhi's home game against Hyderabad in Match No.42 of IPL 2018 on Thursday.
Sublime, because he was Delhi's lone soldier on a very tricky pitch at the Ferozshah Kotla Stadium. Ridiculous, because he was responsible for two run-outs in the Delhi innings.
However eventually, Pant's sublime side prevailed over his ridiculous side and DD were able to reach a very competitive total of 187/5.
After deciding to bat, Delhi got off to a bad start with Prithvi Shaw and the returning Jason Roy failing to contribute much. Both departed off successive deliveries in the fourth over bowled by Bangladeshi allrounder Shakib Al Hasan. Shreyas Iyer and Pant looked to build a partnership but a change of mind on the latter's part led to the Delhi captain's departure by means of a run-out.
In what turned out a great move, Delhi sent Harshal Patel up the order to join Pant. It was surprising to see that on a wicket where Shaw, Roy and Iyer seemed to struggle, there was nothing bothering Patel who looked in great control during his innings of 24 that also saw him hit two sixes. It was a shame that Pant refused to respond to a double call of his and brought about Delhi's second run-out and an end to a 55-run stand.
At the stage, it appeared there was no hope for Delhi as regards their chances of a good total. Pant, seemingly ashamed of his twin follies, however had other ideas in his mind and made up big time: he cut loose thereafter punishing the Hyderabad bowlers with great disdain.
He dominated the 63-run with Glenn Maxwell with 53 and during the course of his innings became the first player this season to reach the 500-run mark. It was his first-ever IPL century. He also became the youngest to score 1,000 runs in the history of the league at the age of 20 years and 218 days, going past Sanju Samson (21 years and 183 days).
The Hyderabad bowlers did their damndest but there was no stopping Pant and Bhuvneshwar Kumar especially came in for a severe hiding in the last over, conceding three sixes and two fours. Pant was unbeaten on 128 off 63 balls with the help of 15 fours and 7 sixes.
It was indeed a batting clinic from the 20-year-old as Delhi scored a whopping 135 runs in the last 10 overs.