IPL 2024 results: Rishabh Pant makes return as Punjab Kings beat Delhi Capitals

Rishabh Pant
India wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant made 18 runs off 13 balls during his first appearance since December 2022, when he was in a major car accident

2024 Indian Premier League, Mullanpur

Delhi Capitals 174-9 (20 overs): Hope 33 (25), Arshdeep 2-28

Punjab Kings 177-6 (19.2 overs): S Curran 63 (47), Kuldeep 2-20

Punjab Kings won by four wickets

Scorecard, Table

Rishabh Pant made his return from a 14-month absence in Delhi Capitals' final-over defeat by Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League.

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 Kings to seal a four-wicket victory with four balls left.

Pant scored 18 for Capitals in his first game since being in a serious car accident in December 2022.

Curran played alongside England colleagues Liam Livingstone and Jonny Bairstow for the Kings, but Chris Woakes was absent.

Wicketkeeper Pant's return saw him come in at four. It was a slow start for the 26-year-old captain - who had suffered head, back and leg injuries in the accident and was unable to walk without assistance for months - but he did hit two fours in his 13-ball innings before being caught off the bowling of Harshal Patel.

He admitted to being "emotional" before the game and afterwards told reporters: "Personally I was pretty nervous but you have to go through this when you enter the field.

"This isn't the first time being nervous, but happy about that (return)."

Capitals lost wickets in the middle order quickly and fell from 111-4 to 147-8 at the back end of their innings but a 32-run cameo from impact substitute Abishek Porel, including 25 runs in the final over, set Punjab 175.

England duo Curran and Livingstone took charge for the Kings after losing early wickets. Curran bought up a half-century, his fourth in IPL cricket, off 39 balls and with Livingstone (38), put on a 67-run fifth-wicket partnership off 42 balls to leave the Kings needing eight runs off the final nine balls.

Livingstone hit a six in the final over to seal an opening-game victory.

KKR edge win despite Klaasen heroics

In Saturday's other IPL match, Kolkata Knight Riders started their 2024 campaign with a four-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad.

England white-ball international Phil Salt (54) set the tone for the Knight Riders with a half-century before West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell smashed an unbeaten 64 runs off 25 balls to lead the Knight Riders to 208-7.

Thangarasu Natarajan took 3-32 for a Sunrisers side led by Australia captain Pat Cummins.

Hyderabad initially struggled in their chase of 209. Sunil Narine bowled excellently, taking figures of 1-19 and did not concede a boundary from his 24 balls. Russell also took two wickets.

Needing 76 runs off the final four overs, a 58-run seventh-wicket partnership between Heinrich Klaasen (63) and Shahbaz Ahmed (16), which passed 50 after just 14 balls, left Sunrisers requiring six runs off the final three balls. Klaasen hit eight sixes in his 29-ball innings.

Having dismissed Shahbaz off the third ball of the over, Harshit Rana also took the wicket of Klaasen two balls later on his way to figures of 3-33.

Cummins came out to bat needing six to win off the final ball, or four to tie and send the game to a super over, but Rana bowled a dot ball to seal victory.

Listen to commentary on Rajasthan Royals v Lucknow Super Giants (10:00 GMT) and Gujarat Titans v Mumbai Indians (14:00 GMT) on Sunday, 24 March on BBC Sounds, BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra and the BBC Sport website and app.