Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson tee off as Daredevils defeats Lions

Chasing a stiff target of 208, the Delhi Daredevils duo smashed their way to help their team cross the line with 16 balls to spare.

Rishabh Pant (left) and Sanju Samson put on 143 runs in 10.3 overs.   -  PTI


Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson redefined brutal assault on the field with a display of power, skills and timing to help Delhi Daredevils saunter to a seven-wicket victory against Gujarat Lions at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Thursday.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Chasing a stiff 208-run target, Samson and Pant smashed their way as Daredevils overhauled the target with 16 balls to spare, a reiteration of its dominance in what was the second highest successful chase in the IPL's 10-year history. The result ended any hopes Lions might have been nursing of sneaking into the top-four even as it kept Daredevil's outside hopes of qualifying for the playoffs alive.

Pant made 97 in 43 balls and Samson added 61 in just 31 but the 143-run partnership was more than just numbers. Samson's knock had seven sixes and not a single four while Pant's had nine sixes and six fours. Every bowler suffered. James Faulkner was hit for three sixes – twice over midwicket and once over square leg – and a four by Pant in the 11th over; later, 15 were taken off Ravindra Jadeja by Samson. But the rest did not get off lightly either.

The complete dominance can be gauged from the fact that every single six hit by the duo came off the middle of the bat, with most landing in either the second or third tier of the stands and only a handful landing just across the rope. The runs flowed on either side of the pitch; there was hardly any cross-batted shot and even with a brilliant fielding unit that saved at least 10 runs on the field, Lions could only watch helplessly as the ball repeatedly disappeared. It finally took a rare top-edge from Samson to break the partnership: Samson tried to counter Jadeja's spin but the ball only went as far as mid-off to Faulkner.

Pant kept going, but fatigue finally came into play when he was caught behind on 97 with a thick edge off Basil Thampi. Disappointment writ large on his face, the local favourite received pats of appreciation from Lions’ captain Suresh Raina, who had himself struck a hurricane knock.

Raina show

Earlier, Daredevils’ fielding woes came back to haunt it when Shreyas Iyer dropped Raina on two. It was a simple catch at slip off Kagiso Rabada in the second over of the innings. Having lost both its openers in the first two bowlers of the over, losing its captain with the team total on 12 could have wrecked Lions’ batting plans.

As it were, the drop saw Raina go all out, slogging the ball and every bowler to all corners of the field. His 77 runs had four sixes and five fours, and his partnership for the third wicket with Dinesh Karthik was worth 133 in just 12 overs (72 balls). The importance of Raina and the partnership can be gauged from the fact that, once Raina fell – run out by a brilliant direct hit to the non-striker's end from Rabada at point – followed by Karthik five balls later, the scoring dropped to a trickle. The last five overs produced just 44 runs, thanks mainly to two sixes off the last two balls by Ravindra Jadeja, and three wickets.

The Daredevils bowlers, specially Rabada and Pat Cummins, pulled their team back into the game with some tight lines and lengths. Daredevils made up for the atrocious fielding earlier with some brilliant work towards the end – specially Corey Anderson, who plucked the ball out of thin air with a leaping, one-handed catch at mid-off to dismiss Karthik – but it still could not stop Lions from crossing the 200-run mark.

It needed the brilliance of India's Gen Next, Pant and Samson, to overcome the seemingly impossible before Corey Anderson wrapped up the game, not surprisingly, with a six to long-on, off Faulkner in the 18th over.

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