Watch | Rishabh Pant's quick stumping on comeback game removes Punjab Kings' Jitesh Sharma

A reverse sweep gone wrong off Kuldeep costs Jitesh his wicket

Delhi Capitals wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant Delhi Capitals wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant stumps out Punjab Kings' Jitesh Sharma | AP

Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant scored 18 runs from 13 balls on Saturday, his first competitive game in about 15 months, as his team reached 174/9 against Punjab Kings in Chandigarh. Although he struck two boundaries, the 22-year-old Pant couldn't make a remarkable return with the bat.

However, his contribution to the team didn't end with his dismissal. Keeping wickets for his side, Pant's smart stumping removed the dangerous Jitesh Sharma off Kuldeep Yadav. Punjab Kings were cruising at 100/3 in 11.2 overs when Sharma, batting on 9 off 8, tried to reverse sweep Yadav. 

The batter went for the unconventional shot when the leggie pushed a delivery across him. He missed the ball completely and lost control of his body. Although he was inside the crease while attempting the sweep, Sharma ended up completely outside in the follow-through. Pant made no mistake as he smartly removed the bails while the right-hander was completely outside the crease.

Even though the umpire asked for assistance from his colleague before the television screens, a dejected Jitesh had already started walking back as he knew his stay in the middle was over. 


Welcome back, Rishabh Pant 

Coming back after a long rehab following a horrific car crash in December 2022, Rishabh Pant scored two boundaries before being dismissed by a short-pitch delivery by Harshal Patel.

After a slow start, 22-year-old Pant was starting to accelerate when his wicket fell. After playing second fiddle to Shai Hope, who was dismissed by Kagiso Rabada after a well-made 25 ball 33, Pant decided to attack PBKS bowlers at Chandigarh. 

The DC skipper managed eight runs from the first three balls of the 14th over, including two doubles and a boundary. In no mood to slow down, Pant tried to uppercut a slow short-pitched delivery by Patel. However, the ball went nowhere and landed in the safe hands of Jonny Bairstow at backward point.

Earlier, Pant had received a lifeline when Harshal Patel missed a catching opportunity near the boundary ropes. A shorter in-length delivery from leggie Rahul Chahar was dispatched towards deep square leg by Pant. Harshal was in the right place to make a comfortable catch but he misjudged the incoming ball, letting it cross the boundary rope through his hands.

"Jittery, nervous, excited...all of it, but at the same time, just happy, being able to come back to professional cricket. I'm just looking forward to playing my first game tomorrow," Pant had earlier said ahead of DC's season opener.

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