Team India owned Sri Lanka on Day 1 of the ongoing first Test at PCA Stadium in Mohali. Opting to bat first, the hosts never allowed the Lankan bowlers to come into the game thanks to scintillating batting display, particularly from Rishabh Pant and Hanuma Vihari.

While Vihari was dismissed for a well-made 58 off 128 balls, Pant held his end and kept scoring the runs. The dynamic wicketkeeper-batter looked in full control in the first innings and played his natural aggressive game.

The left-handed batter took the tourists’ bowling attack to the cleaners, smashing nine fours and four humungous sixes. One of the major highlights of Pant’s knock was the 76th over of Indian innings bowled by Sri Lanka’s Lasith Embuldeniya.

Pant completely dominated the proceedings and earned as many as 22 runs from the Embuldeniya’s over. The 24-year-old looked well-set to reach the triple-figure mark as he quickly entered the 90s. However, a shocker came in the 81st over bowled by Suranga Lakmal when Pant got cleaned up and fell 4 runs short of what could be the magical hundred.

It was a good length ball, and Pant looked a bit casual while trying to block the delivery as he did not move to the pitch of the ball, which left a gap between bat and pad. The red-cherry held its line, beat the inside edge and crashed into the off-stump. Pant looked absolute devastated as he almost sat down on his haunches in disappointment.

Notably, it wasn’t the first time Pant was dismissed in the 90s. Apart from this knock, the Delhi-lad has gotten out on as many as four occasions in the 90s.

Pant’s nervous 90s:

92 vs West Indies in Rajkot 2018
92 vs West Indies in Hyderabad 2018
97 vs Australia in Sydney 2021
91 vs England in Chennai 2021
96 vs Sri Lanka in Mohali 2022*

No wonder, Pant’s fans and admirers were quick to react on social media as the explosive batter missed out on reaching the century.

Here is how Twitter reacted:

Absolutely love watching @RishabhPant17 !! A player who you can’t love .. don’t want to miss a ball he faces .. no idea what’s going on his head .. but it’s always a must watch .. I reckon he is the greatest modern day player entertainer ., #INDvSL

— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) March 4, 2022

Kids score 90+ and make their family proud.
Legends score 90+ and make whole country proud.
Chin up @RishabhPant17 👊🏼 #INDvSL

— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) March 4, 2022

#Pant deserved a ton. Well played once again in a tricky situation. #MohaliTest #INDvSL

— R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) March 4, 2022

Pant (96) missed the opportunity to become the first Indian wicket-keeper to hit back to back Test 100s
Remember he hit 100* at Cape Town in Jan 2022#IndvSL #IndvsSL

— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) March 4, 2022

#Pant may have missed a hundred but I was very impressed with his remarkably responsible approach. And his out standing self belief while hitting sixes is incredible. #Cricket #CricketTwitter

— parthiv patel (@parthiv9) March 4, 2022

Rishabh Pant is one hell of an exciting cricketer!

— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) March 4, 2022

Cricket’s obsession with milestones doesn’t allow us to properly acknowledge and appreciate the achievements. This is Rishabh’s 5th score in 90s…all of them stellar knocks enriching Test cricket. #IndvSL

— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) March 4, 2022

First Virat and now Rishabh … so disappointing!! But what a good day to witness some amazing knocks.. #100thTestForKingKohli #ViratKohli𓃵 #INDvSL 👏👏

— Ishan Yadav Mahal (@BeingIshanCric) March 4, 2022

Rishabh Pant falls short by 4 runs. Suranga Lakmal makes best use of the new ball and gets rid of the dangerous Pant.

Top knock, @RishabhPant17 #INDvSL

— Subhayan Chakraborty (@CricSubhayan) March 4, 2022

As Pant hammers Sri Lanka my mind is full of conversations with late Ustaad Ji (Tarak Sinha) who would say “bahut bada player banega. Abhi mat likhna. Uska dimaag kharaab ho jayega.” One can quote Ustaad Ji now. Pant will serve Indian cricket long. Ustaad Ji must be happy 👍

— Vijay Lokapally 🇮🇳 (@vijaylokapally) March 4, 2022

Rishabh Pant has missed 4 hundreds in Tests in India – he got out on 91,92,92 and 96 from nine innings.

— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) March 4, 2022

What a disappointing end of this amazing knock from Rishabh Pant. Missed a very well 100 from just 4 runs.

— Bhawana (@bhawnakohli5) March 4, 2022

Your 96(97) was no less than a 100. Well played King! @RishabhPant17

— S A I K I R A N (@sachinfan1045) March 4, 2022

Well Played @RishabhPant17 😊#INDvsSL

— Sagar Gupta 🇮🇳 (@Sagargupta0808) March 4, 2022

What a brilliant knock of 96 off 97 rishabh pant, You deserve the century , Unlucky not to get to his century.💔

Well played, @RishabhPant17 👏


— Sumit devda 🙇 (@Little_baby_11) March 4, 2022

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