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    Punjab Kings beat Delhi Capitals in IPL 2024, with Rishabh Pant making a return
Punjab Kings beat Delhi Capitals in IPL 2024, with Rishabh Pant making a return
India wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant made 18 runs off 13 balls. Source: Getty Images

Punjab Kings beat Delhi Capitals in IPL 2024, with Rishabh Pant making a return

Rishabh Pant returned to the Delhi Capitals team after a 14-month absence in their final-over defeat to the Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League.

The Capitals scored 174-9 in their 20 overs, with Shai Hope top-scoring with 33.

In response, England all-rounder Sam Curran, who only bowled one over, scored 63 for the Kings to seal a four-wicket victory with four balls remaining.

Pant scored 18 runs for the Capitals in his first game since being involved in a serious car accident in December 2021.

Curran played with England teammates Liam Livingstone and Jonny Bairstow for the Kings, but Chris Woakes was not present.

Wicketkeeper Pant returned and batted at number four. The 26-year-old captain had a slow start due to the head, back, and leg injuries he sustained in the accident, which left him unable to walk without assistance for months. However, he managed to hit two fours in his 13-ball innings before being caught off the bowling of Harshal Patel.

He admitted to feeling 'emotional' before and after the game. He also mentioned being nervous but acknowledged that it's a common feeling when entering the field.

Capitals lost wickets in the middle order rapidly, falling from 111-4 to 147-8 towards the end of their innings. However, an impactful 32-run cameo from substitute Abishek Porel, including 25 runs in the final over, set Punjab a target of 175.

England's Curran and Livingstone took charge for the Kings after losing early wickets. Curran scored a half-century, his fourth in IPL cricket, off 39 balls. Along with Livingstone (38), he formed a 67-run fifth-wicket partnership off 42 balls, leaving the Kings needing eight runs off the final nine balls.

Livingstone hit a six in the final over, securing an opening-game victory.

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