IPL 2017: Pant's heroics not enough as RCB prevail over Daredevils

Carlos Brathwaite (DD): Although Brathwaite hasn't done much since sealing a memorable victory for the West Indies against England in the ICC World T20 final previous year, Daredevils will need him to come good with both bat and ball in the absence of other key players.

As for the Daredevils, they were looking to start their Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign on a high. Two of these instances have come against Delhi Daredevils.

From the time he smashed his first ball for six, there was a sense that he would bat the way he has been known to all along - see the ball and give it a good whack. I've got mobile flexible joints in my shoulder so the action is not so uncomfortable for me for my arm to facing the other way but still being able to turn it over just as fast.

After finishing sixth in the last edition, DD have still chose to go with a young batting unit comprising the likes of Sam Billings, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson. Pant, who had waged a lone battle and kept his head even as wickets tumbled at the other end, took an age to walk back to the dugout after he was bowled by Pawan Negi, the anguish on his young face evident. Watson conceded just five runs and also got the wicket of Pat Cummins (6) in the 17th over to tilt the game in favour of RCB.

At 55/3, Jadhav and Binny joined hands and they resurrected the RCB innings before Zaheer broke the partnership when Binny carted one to the hands of Sam Billings at deep mid-wicket.

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Chris Gayle and Watson made a decision to open the innings, and, unfortunately, the two most experienced batsmen could not produce the knocks that RCB so required in the absence of De Villiers and Kohli.

Jadhav is a different batsman after his innings in the England ODI series earlier this year, and that confidence flowed right through again, with the right-hander playing some outstanding shots, including a six over extra cover that had the jaws dropping.

Delhi fumbled in the chase, being restricted to 142/9 as they lost by 15 runs. In mundane form, and a batting wicket in front, Gayle would certainly be eager to go for the kill.

RCB captain Shane Watson said, "It was a great win". The only man with a significant score in the run chase was Rishabh Pant who made 57.

Billy Stanlake and Yuzvendra Chahal grabbed two wickets apiece but it was Pawan Negi, picked by Watson to bowl the final over, who did the trick for RCB by dismissing Rishabh Pant, the only Delhi batsman who could have won the match for his side.

  • Lawrence Cooper