Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Delhi Capitals (DC) kept this season’s trend of last-over finishes going in their group stage IPL clash. On Thursday, the two teams competed in an exciting low-scoring thriller at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, with the Royals being crowned as eventual winners by 3-wickets.
In a close game that saw several highs and lows across both sides, Delhi skipper Rishabh Pant manages to feature on our showcase reel. The 23-year-old led his team’s batting charge right from the front, scoring a crucial 51(32) after DC suffered an early batting collapse. Thanks to his pyrotechnics, Delhi managed to put up 147 runs on board, setting Rajasthan a low albeit tricky target on Wankhede’s bouncy wicket.
But more than his blitzkrieg batting, it was Rishabh’s behind-the-stumps banter that caught us by surprise. Not that it should have, considering how verbose he is usually on the field. But this time, his hilarious observations during the live match even managed to get the on-air commentators laughing.
Rishabh Pant gets chatty with the umpire about the over rate situation
It happened during the 7th over of Rajasthan’s run chase. Delhi had got off to a dream start in their defence of 148, picking up three wickets in the powerplay to peg Rajasthan’s momentum. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was into the runup for the fourth delivery of his over when he was stopped by umpire S Ravi. The latter wanted to check if the fielders were set correctly inside the 30-yard circle.
A cheeky Rishabh ensured that the umpires were aware of the delay they were causing in the match and that he not be held liable for it later. While ‘Ash’ was resuming his stance, Rishabh smartly prompted the umpires from behind the stumps. “Game delay…that’s one minute for you, umpire”, he was heard saying on the live stump-mic.
MS Dhoni fined 12 Lakh for a slow over-rate against the Delhi Capitals
Rishabh’s candid comment left on-air commentators Harsha Bhogle and Sunil Gavaskar in splits. Harsha went on further to elaborate and praise Rishabh for his match awareness. Knowing how his opposite number, MS Dhoni, was fined for over delay in his last game against the Chennai Super Kings, young Rishabh showed his tactical prowess by reminding the umpires about the over rate situation. Clearly, the young pupil has taken a leaf out of his mentor’s book.
Under the revised IPL rules this year, fielding captains have to finish their 20 overs strictly inside the allotted 90-minute duration. Failure to do so could result in heavy match fines- as in Dhoni’s case, who had to pay compensation worth INR 12 lakh. Furthermore, multiple such offences could even result in one-match bans.
Coming back to the match, Rajasthan made a comeback in the middle overs thanks to David Miller’s anchoring innings of 62 (43). However, it was all-rounder Chirs Morris’ cameo knock of 36 that got RR over the line. Needing 27 off the last 2 overs, Morris clobbered Kagiso Rabada and Tom Curran for a couple of sixes each to seal the deal for his side. It was a redemption of sorts for the mercurial Saffer from the last match; when his captain decided against giving him the strike off the inning’s final ball.
Brief scores: DC 147/ 8 (R Pant 51, J Unadkat 3/15) lost to RR (D Miller 62, A Khan 3/32) by 3 wickets