Rishabh Pant falters under pressure as Delhi Capitals fall short in IPL 2022 play-off race

Wicketkeeper batsman drops crucial catch and fails to review caught behind chance against Mumbai Indians

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Wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant had a forgettable outing as the Delhi Capitals captain dropped a catch and failed to review a crucial chance to see his team lose to Mumbai Indians and get knocked out of the IPL 2022 play-offs race on Saturday.

Delhi needed to beat Mumbai - who were already out of the race - at the Wankhede Stadium and gave themselves a good opportunity to do so by setting their opponents a 160-run target.

Pant made 39 in Delhi's 159-7 but dropped an easy catch off South African teenager Dewald Brevis who made a crucial 37 off 33 balls. The keeper then failed to call for a review when the dangerous Tim David appeared to have edged his first ball with technology suggesting the batsman had nicked it to Pant.

David went on smash a match-winning 11-ball 34 as Mumbai reached the target with five balls and as many wickets to spare.

The Capitals thus finished in 14 points behind Royal Challengers Bangalore (16) who sealed the final play-off spot. Bangalore will face Lucknow Super Giants in Wednesday's eliminator game, while Gujarat Titans will take on Rajasthan Royals in Tuesday's first qualifier.

Despite the blunders, Capitals coach Ricky Ponting said Pant remained his choice as captain.

"Absolutely no doubt in my mind that Rishabh, even the last season, was the right choice for the captaincy," Ponting said.

"He is still a very young man. He is still learning about the captaincy side of things. He has certainly got my full backing and looking forward to getting back working with him next year.

"It's always hard to put your finger on single aspect of the game," Ponting said. "You can rewind the clock to the start of the game as well when our top-order batting was so poor.

"Obviously Tim David was out first ball, but there are so many aspects that we will be disappointed [with], but the important thing is that the players need to learn from games like this."

Mumbai skipper and all-format India captain Rohit Sharma also threw his weight behind Pant.

"He is a quality captain, we have seen it in the past season how he leads his team. Sometimes things don't go your way, I have gone through such situations, such things happen on the ground," Rohit said.

"He has a great mind, he reads the game well from behind, and such fumbles can happen and it is important to not doubt yourself. He will come back strong."

Earlier, Mumbai fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah finished with fine figures of 3-25 to restrict Delhi's batsmen.

Updated: May 22, 2022, 8:08 AM