NEW DELHI: Rishabh Pant will remember May 5, 2017 with lots of fondness. He may have missed out on a maiden T20 ton, but at times, it was just about how far and high the youngster could strike the ball. Credit to Sanju Samson also, as the duo helped Delhi Daredevils to a seven-wicket win over Gujarat Lions, thus keeping them alive in the playoffs hunt, while knocking the visitors out.
Delhi started their chase with Karun Nair falling cheaply again, but the show was just about to start, as Pant and Sanju spared neither spinners nor pacers. Though both fell before the end, with the former missing out on a ton by three runs, they had done more than enough to help Shreyas Iyer and Corey Anderson knock off the remaining runs with minimum fuss.
The win helped Delhi move to eight points, level with Kings XI Punjab, but they stay sixth on net run rate. Interestingly, Suresh Raina failed to make the knockouts for the first time in his IPL career. Earlier, having inserted the Lions at Feroz Shah Kotla, Karun would have known that getting rid of explosive openers Brendom McCullum and Dwayne Smith was key to putting early pressure on Gujarat.
Those two wickets, which came within an over of each other, helped the hosts pull things back a bit, and what once looked like a chase above 230 became a more encouraging 209.