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IPL: Rishabh Pant suffers defeat on return after career-threatening car accident

India's Rishabh Pant suffered a narrow defeat on his return to action for the first time since a career-threatening car crash.

Pant was airlifted to hospital after losing control of his Mercedes on December 30, 2022, hitting a central reservation and sustaining a series of injuries.

The 26-year-old had three separate ligament tears in his right knee but has battled back to fitness and received a standing ovation when he walked out to bat for Delhi Capitals against Punjab Kings in the second match of this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) in Mullanpur.

Pant made 18 from 13 balls before mistiming a ramp shot off the bowling of Harshal Patel and lofting the ball to Jonny Bairstow at backward point.

"Personally I was pretty nervous, but at the same time you have to go through this when you enter the field and it's not the first time you are feeling nervous," Pant said in a post-match television interview.

Abishek Porel blasted 32 from just 10 balls to help Delhi post 174 for nine from their 20 overs and Pant stumped Jitesh Sharma in the Kings' reply, but Sam Curran (63) and Liam Livingstone (38 not out) helped their side over the line.

Livingstone smashed the winning runs with his third six from the second ball of the final over.

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