Rishabh Pant expresses joy after scoring his first fifty since comeback

The fans who had flocked to the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Sunday, March 31 to witness the Delhi Capitals versus Chennai Super Kings clash went home with a lot of happy memories as Rishabh Pant and MS Dhoni played memorable knocks.

Pant came out to bat at No. 3 after David Warner and Prithvi Shaw had added 93 runs inside the first 10 overs. The wicketkeeper-batter struggled initially to find his timing and got to 23 off as many balls. However, he managed to accelerate commendably and hit 28 off his last nine balls. The southpaw was eventually dismissed by Matheesha Pathirana for a 32-ball 51 in the penultimate over of the Delhi innings. His knock was glistened with four fours and three sixes.

This was Pant’s first half-century after he made a comeback to competitive cricket after 14 months following a horrific car accident in December 2022. In the 18th over bowled by Mustafizur Rahman, the 26-year-old unleashed a one-handed six, a shot he made famous before his accident. After the match, Pant said that he had waited for a very long time to hit his trademark shot. He also asserted that he always had the belief to make a strong comeback and dominate the bowlers.

“One and a half years,” Pant said when he was asked if he was also waiting, like the rest of the cricket fraternity, to see him hit a one-handed six, as quoted by India Today.

“I haven’t played much cricket, but I kept believing I could change the match. This is something I have built my life on. Still have to keep learning as a cricketer,” he added.

On the back of Pant’s blitzkrieg, Delhi set a challenging target of 192 for Chennai. The five-time champions, who had won both their games in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 heading into this fixture, had to fight hard for their runs as the Delhi bowlers were excellent with their planning and execution. MS Dhoni came out to bat at No. 8 and played a whirlwind knock of 37 not out off 16 balls but he just had too much left to do. In the end, the Men in Yellow fell short by 20 runs as the Capitals won their first match of the season.