Rishabh Pant is renowned as an attacking batsman and the southpaw rarely tries to curb his natural instincts and slow down his innings. On Sunday, he once again showed his aggression by smashing a blitzkrieg 32-ball century against Himachal Pradesh in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy in New Delhi. The Delhi wicketkeeper was at his brilliant best and brought up his hundred in no time. The 32-ball hundred against Himachal by Pant is now the second fastest century in T20 world cricket. Chris Gayle holds the record with his 30-ball century for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Pune Warriors in Indian Premier League.
Incidentally, this was Pant’s first century in T20s and it could not have come at a better time. His unbeaten knock of 116, which came of 38 deliveries, was laced with eight fours and 12 huge sixes. Courtesy of his stunning innings Delhi beat Himachal Pradesh by 10 wickets in the group stage match of the tournament.
Chasing a target of 145, Pant and Gautam Gambhir opened the batting for Delhi and showed their intent from the first over itself. While Gambhir played the role of an anchor (33 runs off 38 balls) and kept rotating the strike, Pant did not shy away from launching an all-out attack against the Himachal bowlers.
His strike-rate was a phenomenal 305.26 and that helped Delhi chase down the target in just 70 balls. Pant also enjoyed a good day on the field. Before his maiden century, he took four catches behind the wicket and helped Delhi restrict Himachal to 144 for 7.
When Himachal came to bowl, their bowlers did not expect such carnage from Pant and seemed bereft of ideas. Dheeraj Kumar and Kanwar Abhishek were two of the most expensive bowlers as they leaked 39 and 41 runs respectively from their two overs each.