Mumbai: Pant smashed the fastest fifty against Mumbai Indians in IPL history when he reached landmark off only 18 balls. He walked in to bat at No.5 for Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday and took on a strong Mumbai attack only the way he could. He finished on 78 not out off 27 balls as Delhi Capitals scored 213 for 6 of 20 overs.
The record for the fastest fifty against Mumbai Indians was held by MS Dhoni. In 2012, Dhoni had scored a fifty off 20 balls against Mumbai. Rishabh Pant had a torrid time against Australia in the final two ODIs. His wicketkeeping was poor and he did not score many runs. However, up against three-time champions, Pant showed why he can be a destructive batsman for India for many years.
Pant’s six off Bumrah in the 18th over of the Delhi innings was audacious strokelay. He then turned his attention to Rasikh Salam and hit him for two sixes and a four in his final over. Young Salam had no clue how to bowl to Pant but you really could not blame the 17-year-old pacer, who was playing his first IPL match. Pant was in that kind of mood.
In 2018, when Delhi Daredevils had a terrible run in the IPL, Rishabh Pant was a true shining light. In 14 matches, Pant scored 684 runs including a career-best 128 not out and 5 fifties.
But it is his ninth IPL fifty that Rishabh Pant will treasure most. It came in front of leading luminaries of the game like Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Mahela Jayawardene. The way he took Jasprit Bumrah apart was a sight to behold if you are a Delhi fan.
Faster fifties have been scored in the IPL. In 2018, KL Rahul smashed the fastest fifty in IPL history when he raced away to the landmark off only 14 balls. Sunil Narine and Yusuf Pathan have scored fifties off 15 balls while Suresh Raina once scored a fifty off 16 balls.
But Pant’s daredevilry was stunning. Rohit Sharma and Yuvraj Singh were dazed when Rishabh Pant swept Bumrah for a six. It was that kind of a knock. It looked like Ganguly and Ponting had given Pant the license to kill and he went out and scored the quickest fifty by any batsman against Mumbai Indians.