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IPL 2017, DD vs SRH: Rishabh Pant's aggressive 20-ball 34 is the SK Turning Point of the match

The youngster's innings set the tone for the explosive middle-order to fire.

Pant came in at No. 3 and played a vital knock for Delhi Daredevils

Delhi Daredevils hosted Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 40th match of IPL 2017. After winning the toss, the DD skipper Karun Nair opted to bowl first and restricted the visitors to 185. With good contributions from Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant and Corey Anderson, the home team chased down the target comfortably and registered a much-needed win.

DD were under pressure going into the match as they had just four points to their name, and the win against a quality SRH side has not only got them two crucial points but also set the tone for rest of the tournament.

How the match unfolded

After being put into bat, SRH got off to a solid start yet again. Warner was at his best again as he scored a quick fire 30, and Shikhar Dhawan too scored at a brisk pace making good use of the field restrictions. The opening duo put on 53 before the Australian was cleaned up a perfect yorker by Mohammed Shami in the last over of the powerplay.

DD pulled back things nicely after Warner’s dismissal; Amit Mishra and Jayant Yadav bowled few tight overs and kept the run-rate in check. Kane Williamson never got going as he scored a run-a-ball 24 and that hurt SRH as they needed more than 185 runs as they went into the game with just four specialist bowlers.

However, Yuvraj played a blinder for SRH; his 41-ball 70 was filled with some ferocious pull shots and perfectly-timed straight drives. After being put down on 29, the southpaw provided the flourish that was required at the end.

But a total of 185 wasn’t enough in the end. Unlike in the previous matches, the DD batsmen played with intent and kept attacking the SRH bowlers. Scoring boundaries in almost every over, the hosts kept the required run-rate under control and also put SRH under pressure constantly.

Delhi openers, Sanju Samson and Karun Nair got them off to a perfect start as they scored 40 runs in the first four overs. Samson, who was looking in good nick, got out to a well-disguised slower delivery by Siraj, but not before scoring 19 runs.

Turning point

Pant was promoted up the order and walked in at No. 3 today, and it proved to be a great move as the attacking left-hander took the attack to the opposition in his 20-ball 34 knock. Even after his dismissal, DD didn’t let the foot off the gas. Corey Anderson too found form as he smashed his way to 37 runs. Overall it was just the perfect game for DD and they will look to carry the momentum forward as they need to win most of the matches.

Of all the innings by the DD batsmen, Pant’s was the most important one. Often, the Daredevils have failed to capitalise on the good start provided by their openers. Playing too many dot balls, they put pressure on themselves. But, Pant was in no mood to let the opposition settle today. He swept Rashid Khan for boundaries and smashed the faster bowlers for runs as well.

It was particularly impressive the way Pant looked to score boundaries off the first deliveries of an over. The intention was to put the bowler under pressure straight away, and it worked very well as Rashid Khan bowled few loose after conceding boundaries early on.

Pant took Moises Henriques to the cleaners as he took him for two boundaries in the tenth over of DD’s innings. Pant had struggled in the last two matches but the management showed confidence in him by sending him up the order and the youngster didn’t disappoint.

How Pant’s innings affected the game

After getting Karun Nair out, SRH would have liked to build pressure on the new batsman. That has been the strategy for SRH so far - building pressure in the middle overs by bowling dot balls. However, the plan didn’t work this time.

With boundaries being conceded in almost every over, SRH didn’t manage to build any pressure. SRH were a bowler short and Pant made the most of it. His quick-fire innings allowed Corey Anderson, who came in after Pant’s dismissal, to bat freely and that in turn brought the best in Anderson.

Pant’s innings has not only solved DD’s middle-order woes but also taught SRH that they can’t beat good sides with just four bowlers. 

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