IPL 2019, Match 5, DC vs CSK: Rishabh Pant's crucial dismissal is the Moment of the Match
Following up the controversy-marred thriller between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab was always going to be a tall order, but the fans at Feroz Shah Kotla were treated to a lull of a game between home side Delhi Capitals and defending champions Chennai Super Kings.
Both the teams were coming off convincing victories in their respective first games. CSK decimated Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL 2019 season opener, while DC made light work of Mumbai Indians at Wankhede. As a result, expectations were high amongst the fans coming into the game.
Winning the toss, Shreyas Iyer surprisingly opted to bat first on a sluggish Kotla track. Prithvi Shaw did the bulk of the scoring in the powerplay, before Deepak Chahar got the better of him. Shikhar Dhawan and Iyer stitched a 43-run partnership before the skipper was rapped on the pads by Imran Tahir. The fall of the 2nd wicket brought the explosive Rishabh Pant to the crease.
The stage was set for Pant to do what he does best. The youngster came into the game having single-handedly pulverized the Mumbai Indians bowling attack in a whirlwind 27-ball 78. Even Jasprit Bumrah, who is considered the best white-ball bowler in the world, was not spared from the onslaught.
Pant was in no mood to hang around and took the attack to CSK. Within no time, the 21-year-old raced to 25 runs, scoring at strike-rate of over 200. Just when it looked like he was about to take the game away from the opposition, the ever-reliable Dwayne Bravo brought the blitzkrieg to a halt, which is also our Moment of the Match.
Pant, having already scored a maximum off Harbhajan two balls ago, tried to deposit the ball into the stands with his trademark flick/pull shot. However, the ball only travelled into the hands of an onrushing Shardul Thakur at deep square leg, who took a fine catch to get rid of Pant.
From that point, the Delhi innings seized to take off as they could only muster 27 runs from the remaining 28 balls. The innings ended at 147/6, which was a fighting total given the nature of the pitch.
In reply, Chennai made easy work of the target despite the nature of the pitch. Contributions from Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni coupled with poor bowling from Delhi ensured a 6-wicket win for the Men in Yellow with 2 balls to spare. The win takes CSK to the top of the IPL Points Table.
The wicket of Rishabh Pant came at a crucial juncture, at a point when Delhi were starting to score quick runs. The dismissal made a difference of 20-30 runs and consequently, was the difference between DC winning and losing the game.