The 20-year old brought up his century in 32 balls – two behind Chris Gayle – and finished with an unbeaten 38-ball 116 as Delhi chased a target of 145 with 8.2 overs to spare. Pant made 104 of his runs in boundaries with 12 sixes and eight fours. After a middling Ranji Trophy season, he has found some T20 form leading into the IPL with scores of 38, 9 and 51 in his most recent matches. Pant was one of three players retained by Delhi Daredevils ahead of the 2018 season. His state team Delhi, however, had taken the captaincy away from him prior to the start of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
“Obviously, I felt good about it [the record] when I came to know, you always do, when that happens,” Pant told bcci.tv.”Last season [2016-17 season] too, I had scored the fastest first-class hundred in India and then this year [2017-18 season] in T20; so yes, it feels good to see your name in the record books. But one doesn’t play for records. I try to perform and while doing that records happen…. like Virat bhai [Kohli] keeps scoring [I try to do the same]. Records happen if you keep scoring, so at the end of the day, if you are scoring runs then everything is good.
“I had gone to my club [Sonnet Club] and met my coach and he told me a couple of things and I think that has helped. It was about my technique. Tarak [Sinha] sir and Devender sir … they always help. I think when I practice there [with them at the club] and come[to play] I get a different kind of confidence that I will definitely do well. I think that is what has helped.”
After electing to bowl, Delhi put in a disciplined effort to restrict Himachal Pradesh to less than 150. Captain Pradeep Sangwan picked up two wickets, while each of the other five bowlers used accounted for one scalp each. Himachal Pradesh were in a spot of bother on 78 for 5, but Nikhil Gangta scored a 27-ball 40 and put on a 47-run partnership with Rishi Dhawan, who remained unbeaten on 23 off 16 deliveries.
Delhi’s chase barely hit a bump, as Pant and Gautam Gambhir, who made 30 not out off 33 balls, made it a thoroughly one-sided affair. Delhi’s victory, third third in four games, took them to the top of the north zone standings.