What just happened - Pant long-awaited return

IPL 2024

Rishabh Pant made 18 off 13 in his comeback game.

Rishabh Pant makes a much-awaited comeback

After a gap of 453 days since his last competitive game, Rishabh Pant, who has made a successful recovery after a life-threatening road accident, walked out to bat to a special ovation at Mohali. Looking as fit, if not fitter, since he was forced out of the game, Pant got off the mark with a pushed single. It took him until his 7th ball to attempt a big hit that turned into a boundary after Harshal Patel made a mess of a catch opportunity. His next boundary, a crisp cover drive off Patel signalled that he was getting even more comfortable but it didn't last long unfortunately. He fell off the 13th ball trying to guide a short ball uppishly but presenting a simple catch. 18 off 13 read the scorecard on the much-awaited comeback. It might not have been much in the context of the game, but huge nevertheless in the bigger picture.

He wasn't done with just the bat though. Declared fit to keep wickets by the NCA, Pant proved to be adept behind the stumps. He nearly completed a sharp stumping down the legside against Jitesh Sharma, but while the batter made it back the first time, he wasn't so lucky the next time. Pant was equally sharp when Jitesh attempted a big reverse sweep against Kuldeep Yadav's googly and missed. Pant collected cleanly and whipped the bails off even as Jitesh swiveled and overbalanced outside the crease.

Delhi still hampered

Injuries continued to cripple Delhi Capitals though with Ishant Sharma being forced off the field after twisting his right ankle while fielding. He was helped off the field by the support staff after bowling two overs for 16 runs. It also contained the important wicket of Shikhar Dhawan, whom he dismissed for the fourth time in eight IPL innings. This left Delhi Capitals with a bowler short. They had already used up their Impact Sub by getting in Abhishek Porel to beef up their batting in the first innings.