Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson shared an unbeaten 176-run stand to overshadow a breathtaking hundred from Rishbah Pant as Sunrisers Hyderabad sailed into the Indian Premier League 2018 playoffs with a commanding nine-wicket victory over Delhi Daredevils on Thursday. (IPL 2018 FULL COVERAGE)
Delhi's 187 for five was a challenging target but Dhawan (92 not out off 50 balls) and captain Williamson (83 not out off 53) ensured Sunrisers sauntered home in 18.5 overs.
Dhawan, who was adjudged Man of the Match, was due for a big score. And he rose to the occasion with a sublime innings that was laced with nine boundaries and four sixes. Williamson was not far behind as he breezed to his sixth fifty-plus score of the competition.
"The Gabbar was always there - Yes! He's back!," Dhawan said after the match.
Dhawan also praised young Pant who earlier blasted an explosive 128 not out off 63 balls.
"Rishabh played an amazing knock, he took the game away from us. But we believed that we'll go in with a positive mind-set. I have played lots of cricket over here (at Kotla).
"I am glad that I scored 92 runs and I am looking forward to score more runs. There was no chat between us (himself and Williamson), we were doing our job. Kane has been playing brilliantly throughout this season and I was just in the flow, had to go for it. That's my class (on making it look too easy)," he added.
Pant was unstoppable in his unbeaten knock as he toyed with arguably the best bowling attack in the competition, single-handedly giving a fighting chance to a struggling Delhi.
With just six points from 11 games, Delhi are now certain to make another early exit from the tournament.
Sunrisers, who lead the table with 18 points from 11 games, showed that they could not just defend small totals but also chase down stiff targets.