SunRisers Hyderabad are regarded as one of the best bowling units in IPL 2018. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli had even dubbed them the strongest bowling attack in the tournament and rightly so after some sterling displays with the ball that helped the team defend numerous low totals. However, on Thursday night, the famed SRH attack came up against a marauding Rishabh Pant who smashed the first century by an Indian this season. Despite Pant's hundred, Delhi went on to lose the match and dropped out of the reckoning for a playoff spot.
Following the match, cricketers and fans took to Twitter and praised the youngster for his special knock.
Incredibly special by Rishabh Pant #IPL2018— Ajit Agarkar (@imAagarkar) May 10, 2018
Rishabh Pant has got to be one of the most fearless and powerful young batsmen I have ever come across. First T20. Congratulations.— ian bishop (@irbishi) May 10, 2018
Really special innings from Rishabh. Those were not bad balls from Bhuvi in the last over barring the last full toss, but Rishabh Pant is really special and I hope he is nurtured well. #DDvSRH— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) May 10, 2018
What an amazing innings from Rishabh Pant. Incredible talent and skill!— Aaron Finch (@AaronFinch5) May 10, 2018
More and more I am convinced there is something special about Rishabh Pant.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 10, 2018
Wow! Not just a century, this could be the innings of the IPL so far. #RishabhPant— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) May 10, 2018
One handed sixes and hitting even good balls out of the park. This was as good an innings you will ever see in a T-20 match against the best bowling line up in the IPL, absolutely clean striking. Take a bow, Rishabh Pant #DDvSRH— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) May 10, 2018
Rishabh Pant is the reason why MS Dhoni is playing with the 200+ strike rate in this IPL.#DDvSRH— Sunil- The Cricketer (@1sInto2s) May 10, 2018
Pant smashed an unbeaten 128 off just 63 balls, including 15 fours and seven sixes as Delhi posted a competitive 187 for five. However, the Delhi youngster's knock went in vain as Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson shared an unbeaten 176-run stand that ensured SunRisers overhauled the total in 18.5 overs.
Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been two key bowlers for SunRisers this season and most batsmen have failed to get the better of the two. However, at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, Pant put on a batting masterclass and took both of SRH stars to the cleaners.
The left-hander smashed Rashid for 27 off the 13 balls he faced from the leg-spinner while Bhuvneshwar was plundered for 43 off 11 balls at a strike rate of 390.90.
Pant became the second youngest player to score an IPL hundred and youngest to score 1000 runs in the Indian Premier League.
Manish Pandey, who hammered a hundred for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2009, aged 19 years and 253 days, remains the youngest IPL centurion till date.
With 521 runs in 11 matches, Pant also overtook KL Rahul of Kings XI Punjab to take the 'Orange Cap'.
With just six points from 11 games, Delhi are now certain to make another early exit from the tournament.
SunRisers, who lead the table with 18 points from 11 games, showed tonight that they could not just defend small totals but also chase down stiff targets.