Yet another last over thriller ensued in the IPL 2024 on Wednesday with Delhi Capitals coming out victorious against Gujarat Titans. Rishabh Pant virtually sealed his spot as India’s first choice wicketkeeper for the T20 World Cup with a belligerent unbeaten half-century in Delhi Capitals’ narrow four-run win over Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League on Wednesday.

Skipper Pant and Axar Patel forged a blistering stand of 113 runs off 68 balls en route to quickfire individual half-centuries to power DC to 224 for 4 in their must-win game.

In reply, Sai Sudarshan (65 off 29 ) and David Miller (55 off 23) scored fifties, while Rashid Khan hit a 11-ball 21 not out but still couldn’t take GT over the line, finishing at 220 for 8 in their 20 overs.

Sent in to bat, Pant led from the front, remaining unbeaten on 88 off 43 balls (5X4s, 8X6s), his innings proving to be a timely reminder to the national selectors, who are likely to pick him in India’s first XI against Pakistan in the World T20 match in New York, barring fitness issues.

Pant’s maturity showed as he paced his innings brilliantly in company of Axar, who made 66 off 43 balls after being promoted to the third spot. His innings was studded with five fours and four sixes.

One of the sixes came against Mohit Sharma on the first ball of the 16th over. Pant used the bottom hand of the bat to hoick one over deep mid-wicket. DC Director of Cricket Sourav Ganguly

gave Pant a standing ovation for the shot.

Chasing 225, GT lost skipper Shubman Gill in the second over but Wriddhiman Saha (39) played some delightful shots and together with Impact Sub Sai Sudharsan shared 82 runs for the second wicket to keep GT in the hunt.

But once Saha departed, Azmatullah Omarzai too was brilliantly caught by Jake Fraser-McGurk at deep midwicket off Axar soon.

But Sudharsan, who got a reprieve in the fifth over, used his long handle to great effect to notch up his fifty off 29 balls.

But with the asking rate constantly creeping up, Sudharsan had to go for his shots which eventually led to his downfall as he was caught by Axar off Salam at long-off. He hit seven fours and two sixes.

Miller (55 off 23, 6X4s, 3X6s) then put up a show to take them closer to the target and once he was out, Rashid gave GT hope with a 11-ball 21-run unbeaten cameo.

Needing 19 runs off the last over, Rashid hit Mukesh Kumar for two consecutive fours in the first two balls and then sent the pacer over the fence in the penultimate ball to reduce the deficit to 5 off the last ball.

But Mukesh kept his calm as Rashid failed to clear the fence as GT fell short.

With PTI inputs

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