It was a day of double delight for young Rishabh Pant as he guided the India colts to the semi-final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh with a crushing 197-run win over Namibia besides fetching Rs 1.9 crore IPL deal with the Delhi Daredevils.
Left-handed Pant propelled India to 349 for 6 with 111 off 96 balls with other contributions coming from Anmolpreet Singh (41), Sarfaraz Khan (76) and Armaan Jaffer (64).
Anmolpreet also chipped in with three valuable wickets and alongside other spinners, Mayank Dagar (3/25) and Washington Sundar (2/27), plotted the downfall of Namibia, who folded up for 149 in 39 overs.
Namibia began the mammoth chase well with openers SJ Loftie-Eaton and Niko Davin taking the team past 50. But their challenge fizzled out soon after and from 59 for no loss, the team was tottering at 96 for five.
The African side was expected to show more fight in the quarterfinals after it famously knocked out defending champions South Africa in the group stage.
As it turned out, it was India all the way, be it the professional effort with the ball or their stellar batting performance after winning the toss.
Pant’s fireworks were on display hours before was bought by Delhi Daredevils for Rs 1.9 crore after a bidding war with the Mumbai Indians.
His fellow opener and captain Ishan Kishan too had another reason to smile although he was out cheaply in the game, after he too went under the hammer in the auction back home with Gujarat Lions picking him for Rs 35 lakh.
Pant, who had smashed 78 off 24 balls in the last match, was unstoppable on Saturday as well. The Delhi-based wicketkeeper batsman hammered 14 fours and couple of sixes in his entertaining knock that laid the foundation for a big total.
Sarfaraz too continued with his rich vein of form with a run-ball 76. It was his third 70 plus score in the four games India have played in the tournament.
Brief scores: India 349/6 in 50 overs (Rishabh Pant 111, Sarfaraz Khan 76; Fritz Coetzee 3/78). Namibia 152 all out in 39 overs (Niko Davin 33; Mayank Dagar 3/25, Anmolpreet Singh 3/27).