Kane Williamson in the runs again as Sunrisers qualify for IPL playoffs

Kane Williamson in the runs again as Sunrisers qualify for IPL playoffs

The knocks of Dhawan (92 not out) and Williamson (83 not out) and their second-wicket partnership of 176 runs not only made things easy for the Sunrisers under hard conditions, but also overshadowed the outstanding innings of DareDevils' wicketkeeper-batsman Pant.

The experienced duo was a delight to watch as it completed the chase with utmost calm.

Rishabh Pant, who has scored an unbeaten 128 against Sunrisers, has become the first batsman to score more than 500 runs in the current season.

Talking about the only match of the day, Shikhar Dhawan returned to form in the hour of need as Hyderabad ended Delhi's play-off hopes with a thumping nine-wicket win. His 63-ball knock comprised of 15 fours and seven sixes, with runs coming from all corners.

Shakib Al Hasan was the pick of the bowlers for SRH with his match figures of 4-0-27-2 where he took the important wickets of both the openers in successive balls. Harshal opened his shoulders with a couple of sixes off Siddharth Kaul while Pant started to take toll off Afghanistan legspinner Rashid Khan at the other end. DD was struggling at 98 for four in 14 overs with two of its top-scorers - Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer - back in the hut and the game seemed to be playing out to a predictable script.

Delhi's imposing total was built around a superb unbeaten 128 from Rishabh Pant. He got to the 100 in a similar fashion, muscling a full toss from Kaul over midwicket.

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Delhi had crawled to 52 for three in 10 overs but Pant's power hitting quickly changed the course of the game.

How Pant occurred about the likes of Shakib, Kaul and Bhuvenshwar Kumar was respectable. It can be said that the 2017 IPL showed us only the half-picture of his brilliance as he had a more special show reserved for this year's tournament. After initially walking across to give the impression of trying to scoop the length over short fine leg, he quickly opened up his wrists, turned around the bat face and ramped it over short third man.

Thanks to Pant, Delhi amassed 135 runs in the last 10 overs. His great execution skills were exemplified by the penultimate over bowled by him against Bangalore where he conceded just seven runs to leave a good tally of 12 for Bhuvneshwar to defend and win the game in the last over.

In reply, the Sunrisers lost opening batsman Alex Hales in just the second over, bringing Williamson to the crease.

Earlier, on a sluggish Kotla track, every batsmen barring Pant found run-scoring an arduous challenge on Thursday night.

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