Rajkot | Young Rishab Pant struck a brilliant half century as Delhi Daredevils thrashed table toppers Gujarat Lions by eight wickets in a lopsided IPL match to jump to second spot here Tuesday.
18-year-old Pant, playing in only his third IPL match, stole the limelight as he hit a 40-ball 69 with the help of nine fours and two sixes as the Daredevils chased down the target of 150 with 16 balls to spare at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
Uttarakhand boy Pant, who hit some exquisite shots including a six each off James Faulkner and Suresh Raina, stitched 115 runs for the opening wicket with Quinton de Kock (46) and that took the game away from the Lions who lost their second consecutive match and third in nine games.
With this win, their fifth in seven matches, the Daredevils now have 10 points to occupy the second spot behind the Lions who have 12 points from nine matches.
The Daredevils made a flying start with de Kock and Pant finding the boundaries with ease.
Promoted up the order to open the innings, Pant struck three fours in successive deliveries in the second over bowled by Dhawal Kulkarni to make his intentions clear.
The left-handed opening duo of de Kock and Pant took the Daredevils to 50-run mark in the fifth over and to 61 for no loss at the end of powerplay overs with the help eight boundaries.
Pant reached to his 50 with a six off Raina as Daredevils were cruising towards the target by reaching 93 for no loss at the halfway stage.
The Lions’ bowlers, who were a bit wayward, had to wait till the 14th over to get a breakthrough. Pant while going for a slog off a Jadeja delivery could only manage an inside edge onto his pads for Karthik to take an easy catch.
De Kock was out in the 15th over as he holed out to Dwayne Smith at midwicket but it was too late for the Lions to make a comeback into the match as the Daredevils needed less than a run-a-ball to win the match.
Daredevils ended the formalities as Sanju Samson (19 not out) hit a six off a delivery bowled by Ravindra Jadeja to reach 150 for 2 in 17.2 overs.