IPL: Lefties Axar Patel, Rishabh Pant find form to take Delhi Capitals to 224/4 against Gujarat Titans

Sandeep Warrier took three wickets at an Eco, of 5.00 for Gill's team

Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant and Axar Patel in the middle against GT | PTI Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant and Axar Patel in the middle against GT | PTI

Skipper Rishabh Pant and Axar Patel forged a blistering century stand en route to quickfire individual half-centuries to power Delhi Capitals to a solid 224 for 4 against Gujarat Titans in an IPL match on Wednesday.

Pant and Axar stitched 113 off just 68 balls for the fourth wicket with their counter-attacking batting after DC were down 44 for 3 in 6 overs.

While Rishabh Pant led from the front, remaining unbeaten on 88 off 43 balls (5X4s, 8X6s), Axar made 66 off 43 balls studded with five fours and four sixes.

Sent into bat, Jake Fraser-McGurk and Prithvi Shaw got DC off to a flying start, racing to 34 in 3 overs.

Fraser-McGurk, who smashed a blistering 18-ball 65 in their last match, looked at his ominous best as he elegantly pulled DC bowlers over the fence but his knock was cut short by Sandeep Warrier as the young Australian was holed out at square-leg by Noor Ahmed.

It was double blow for DC in the fourth over as Shaw was caught by Noor off Warrier two balls later with a good diving effort at the deep backward square leg as the batter went for a maximum.

DC's problems were further compounded when Warrier accounted for his second scalp of the day in the form of Shai Hope, who was latched on by a diving Rashid Khan at cover boundary as DC slumped to 44 for 3 in the powerplay.

With three wickets down, Pant and Axar initially played sensibly and tried to forge a partnership but once they were set, they unleashed their brutal attack.

Pant started slowly but gained in confidence as time progressed and unleashed his trademark pick up shots of his legs, cuts and pulls to score his runs.

While Pant looked in full flow after getting his groove, Axar played the second fiddle but didn't falter to dispatch the bad balls to the fence.

But Axar upped his tempo as the innings progressed and notched up his fifty off 37 balls with a boundary off Rashid in the last ball of the 15th over.

Pant attacked anything which was pitched on his legs as he effortlessly flicked Mohit Sharma for a six over midwicket in the 16th over. He then clobbered Mohit over long-off in the same over to prop up DC's run rate.

Axar matched his skipper stroke-for-stroke as he dispatched Noor for huge back-to-back sixes in the 17th over.

But in search of one too many, Axar perished in the next ball, caught by Sai Kishore at long-on.

Pant brought up his fifty with a hit over the long-on fence off Mohit.

Tristan Stubbs' late seven-ball 26-run cameo and Pant's pyrotechnics towards the end took DC beyond the 200-run mark.

Pant unleashed havoc on Mohit in the last over, hitting the veteran bowler for four sixes and one four to pick up 31 runs. 

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