Rishabh Pant smashed his way to a brilliant 97 while Sanju Samson scored a fluent 61 to guide Delhi Daredevils to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Gujarat Lions and keep their hopes afloat for a playoff berth in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) on Wednesday.
Electing to field, Daredevils bowlers leaked runs as Gujarat rode on skipper Suresh Raina (77) and Dinesh Karthik's (65) half-centuries to post 208 for seven.
Later, Pant and Samson showed their class to enable Daredevils to reach the target with consummate ease, reaching 214 for the loss of just three wickets with 15 balls to spare.
By virtue of this win, Rahul Dravid's men have managed to stay in the playoff race garnering eight points from 10 games to hold on to the sixth position in the standings with four matches still to play.
Last year's third-placed team, Gujarat, on the other hand, are out of the playoff reckoning along side Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Pant and Samson went hammer and tongs from the word go as the duo didn't spare a single Gujarat bowler to help Delhi race to 100 in just 9.1 overs.
The duo looked in murderous form as they notched up 100-run partnership for the second wicket in just 46 deliveries.
Pant showed he could be the next big thing in Indian cricket as he dealt in fours and sixes to take Daredevils forward in the company of Samson, who too showed his hitting prowess.
But luck didn't favour Pant as he was dismissed just three runs short of his maiden IPL century, when he nicked a Basil Thampi delivery to Karthik behind the stumps. However, his 97 off just 43 balls impressed fans and players alike, with Twitter buzzing with praise for the youngster.
Former and current cricketers were in awe of the Delhi player's batting
— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) May 4, 2017
Love batsman with tremendous belief in themselves which is backed by a special ability for ball hitting.Extra Special today frm Rishabh Pant — Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) May 4, 2017
Rishabh pant,Sanju Samson ...tonite wow..keep an eye on them teams ...they are special..
— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) May 4, 2017
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) May 4, 2017
Love watching @RishabPant777 what a talent 👀👏🏻
— Jos Buttler (@josbuttler) May 4, 2017
Cricket experts and commentators called him the "next big thing in Indian cricket"
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) May 4, 2017
— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) May 4, 2017
Even celebrities couldn't stop gushing over his quickfire hitting
— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) May 4, 2017
Bhai @RishabPant777 - 3 run rehne de.
That knock was worth 300!
You are now officially my 2nd favourite Pant in India (after my son.)
— Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty) May 4, 2017
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: May 05, 2017 11:42 AM