The Indians all-rounder, Hardik Pandya was elated after churning out a match-winning performance as India held nerves to pull off an exciting five-wicket win over arch-rivals Pakistan in their Asia Cup opener on Sunday. With the team needing 6 off three balls, Hardik nonchalantly finished the game with a six off left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz.
Pandya looked in utter confidence during his post-match interview as he said he would’ve fancied himself chasing down 15 runs in the last over against Pakistan left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz. Hardik (3/25 in 4 overs) showed his high value under extreme pressure as his well-directed short balls helped India bowl out Pakistan for 147.
During the post-match presentation ceremony, the flamboyant all-rounder said, “In bowling, it’s important to assess the situations and use your weapons. For me, bowling short and hard lengths have been my strengths. It’s about using them well and asking the right questions to make the batters commit a mistake. In a chase like this, you always plan over-by-over.”
It should have been a straightforward chase for the men in blue but they witnessed some kind of failure from the top three, putting extra pressure on the middle order.
Hardik (33 not out off 17) and Ravindra Jadeja (35 off 29) then shared a match-winning partnership o 52 runs to take India on the cusp of a famous win. The star all-rounder’s three fours off Haris Rauf in the 19th over effectively sealed the game for India.
Talking about the partnership, Hardik said, “I always knew that there is one young bowler and also one left-arm spinner. We only needed 7 off the last over but even if we needed 15, I’d have fancied myself. I know the bowler is under more pressure than me in the 20th over. I try to keep things simple.”