Delhi Capitals' captain Rishabh Pant in action during the Indian Premier League match against Gujarat Titans at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday. Image Credit: AFP

New Delhi: Rishabh Pant smashed an unbeaten 88 as he led Delhi Capitals to a tense IPL win over Gujarat Titans on Wednesday, boosting his chances of playing for India at the T20 World Cup.

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Delhi posted 224-4 courtesy of a 113-run stand between Pant and fellow left-hander Axar Patel, who hit 66, after they slipped to 44-3 inside six overs at their home Arun Jaitley Stadium.

The hosts kept Gujarat down to 220-8 to win by four runs after David Miller’s 23-ball 55 and an unbeaten 21 off 11 deliveries by Rashid Khan.

Mukesh Kumar kept his nerve in the final over for Delhi’s fourth win in nine matches as they kept their playoff hopes alive in the T20 tournament.

Pant, 26, struck his third half-century of this season after 14 months away from top level cricket following a frightening car accident when his Mercedes rammed into a barrier, flipped and caught fire in December 2022.

Pant, a wicketkeeper-batsman, suffered multiple injuries and was rushed to hospital before being airlifted to Mumbai for further treatment and surgery.

He has not only fired with the bat in the IPL but his sharp work behind the stumps prompted Delhi’s director of cricket Sourav Ganguly and coach Ricky Ponting to back the India star for making the national team for the World Cup in June.

Up and coming Australian batsman Jake Fraser-McGurk gave Delhi a strong start with his 14-ball 23 but medium-pace bowler Sandeep Warrier took three wickets including two in one over.

Patel, a bowling all-rounder promoted to number three in the batting, brought up his fifty with a boundary off Rashid before another Afghanistan spinner Noor Ahmad had him caught at long-on.

Pant reached his fifty in style with a six off Mohit Sharma and then hammered the medium-pace bowler in a 31-run 20th over when he finished with a six, four and three hits over the fence to raise the roof.

South African Tristan Stubbs watched the blitz from the other end after he smashed Sai Kishore in the 19th over, which went for 22 runs, for his unbeaten seven-ball 26.

In reply, Gujarat lost skipper Shubman Gill for six off Anrich Nortje before impact substitute Sai Sudarshan smashed 65 off 39 balls.

Gujarat lost regular wickets but the left-handed Miller smashed Nortje for three sixes and a four to give Delhi a scare before his departure in the 18th over.

Rashid kept up the fight till the end as Gujarat needed 19 off the final over and five on the last ball.