Delhi wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant, abruptly sacked from captaincy a week ago, gave another example of his rare talent by blasting a record 32-ball hundred in a North Zone match against Himachal Pradesh on Sunday.
Pant pummelled the opposition attack with the fastest century from an Indian to fire his team to a 10-wicket win in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy.
Pant remained unbeaten on 116 off 38 balls.
His breathtaking knock comprised 12 sixes and eight fours as Delhi raced to the 145-run target in 11.4 overs.
Gautam Gambhir was left a mere spectator at the other end with 30 off 33 balls.
His brutal innings was also the second fastest hundred in T20s, only behind Chris Gayle, who hammered 100 off 30 balls against Pune Warriors in the 2013 Indian Premier League.
The southpaw also surpassed Rohit Sharma, who hit a 35- ball hundred against Sri Lanka in T20 International at Indore last month.
Pant’s performance left a handful of spectators at the Ferozshah Kotla awestruck, including Yuvraj Singh, who witnessed a special knock by another left-hander before taking the field for Punjab.
“Just witnessed some outstanding hitting by @RishabPant777 scintillating ton,” tweeted Yuvraj.
For Delhi, it was their third win in four matches with their last league match to be played against Services on Tuesday.
Pant has been in ominous touch in the zonal event and had hammered 51 off 33 balls in the previous match against Jammu and Kashmir.
- Himachal Pradesh 144/8 in 20 overs (Nikhil Gangta 40; Sangwan 2/39) lost to Delhi 148/0 in 11.4 overs (Pant 116 not out).
Goswami, Singh shine for Bengal
Openers Shreevats Goswami and Vivek Singh made quick-fire half-centuries as Bengal comfortably defeated Tripura by nine wickets, to continue their unbeaten run in the East Zone league of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. Chasing Tripura’s competitive 169 for four, Goswami remained unbeaten on 82 off 57 balls while Singh made 71 off just 43 deliveries to power Bengal to their third consecutive victory.
Skipper Manoj Tiwary also remained unbeaten on 15 as Bengal chased down Tripura’s total with two overs to spare. Earlier, wicket-keeper Smit Patel struck 73 off 57 balls at the top, while the likes of Udiyan Bose (22), Yashpal Singh (24) and Gurinder Singh (25) made useful contributions to help Tripura post 169 for the loss of four wickets.
Bengal are leading the East Zone league with an all-win record having beaten Odisha (by 7 wickets) and Jharkhand (by 6 wickets) in their previous two games. Meanwhile in another East Zone League match, Jharkhand registered their second victory of the tournament after they defeated Assam by eight wickets. Jharkhand first restricted Assam to a modest 148 for six wickets and then overwhelmed the score with four overs to spare by losing just two wickets. For Assam, Sibsankar Roy top-scored with 52, while Amit Sinha made 40.
Karnataka, Tamil Nadu qualify
Karnataka and Tamil Nadu qualified for the Super League phase by finishing first and second in the South Zone leg of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy South T20 championship today.
Tamil Nadu defeated Hyderabad by 16 runs at Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium here, while Karnataka beat Kerala by 20 runs in Vizianagaram.
Karnataka topped the South Zone leg with 16 points from five matches (four wins and a defeat) on the basis of a better net run-rate. Tamil Nadu finished second on 16 points from five matches (four wins and a loss) and net run-rate of +0.435) followed by Andhra (16 points, NRR: +0.109).