Team India played a classical one-day innings in their World Cup match against Australia at the Oval of Sunday, with the top order laying the foundation, and the middle order building on it by blasting quick runs. Hardik Pandya was instrumental in that, smashing a quickfire 48.
Hardik earned a promotion to No.4, coming in after Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed, with India 220 for 2 in 37 overs. The situation was set up for Hardik to launch an assault on the bowlers, similar to what he was doing in the IPL this year, and he delivered.
In his post-match presentation, Virat Kohli opined that Hardik got India about 30 bonus runs. That estimate was fairly accurate as it turns out, because if Hardik had fallen early, Australia might well have been chasing something around 320 rather than actual 353 – which could have made all the difference to the result.
Australia’s eventual defeat margin was 36 runs.
Hardik’s powerful drive off Counter-Nile
On the last ball of the 42nd over, Australia pacer Nathan Counter-Nile bowled a 134 kph delivery right in Hardik Pandya’s arc. The 25-year-old all-rounder didn’t need second invitations to put the ball away; he set a strong base and thumped it over the bowler. Coulter-Nile smartly and thankfully ducked under it in his follow through, else it would have been nasty.
Pandya nearly takes NCN's head off, smacking the paceman straight past him to the boundary!
— News Cricket (@NewsCorpCricket) June 9, 2019