Hardik Pandya, the versatile cricketer, is a valuable asset for Mumbai Indians (MI). He contributes not only with bat and bowl but also with his spectacular fielding efforts. A glimpse of such was seen in the fifth match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 between MI and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
While batting first, MI posted 195/5 in 20 overs, thanks to skipper Rohit Sharma who scored 80 runs from 54 deliveries. Surya Kumar Yadav also made a significant contribution by smashing 47 off 28 balls. Hardik, however, was unable to exhibit his magic with the willow as he got out hit wicket after scoring 18 from 13 deliveries.
But the Baroda cricketer didn’t let down his side when MI came to the field to defend the massive total.
During the 12th over of KKR’s chase bowled by Kieron Pollard, Hardik made a jaw-dropping effort near the boundary line at deep extra cover to grab an outstanding catch.
KKR all-rounder Nitish Rana hit the ball into covers to score a boundary. It was a well-timed shot and looked like it could smoothly go over the fence, but Hardik had some other plans.
The 26-year-old ran from the mid-cover region and plucked the white leather to end Rana’s innings. Hardik made sure that he doesn’t overbalance while grabbing the ball as he was pretty close to the boundary rope.
Here’s the video:
Not easy to play long innings in UAE: Rohit Sharma
MI leader Rohit etched his name in record books with a superb innings of 80 runs. In process, he also became the second Indian and the fourth batsman overall to hit 200 sixes in the history of IPL.
MI were successful in defending the score as they won the game by 49 runs. The Mumbaikar received the ‘Player of the Match’ award for his well-paced knock.
Post the game, Rohit spoke about the hot and humid conditions of UAE and said it’s not easy to play a long inning in the Gulf nation.
“It is not easy to play long innings here. It takes a lot out of you to play in these conditions. Maybe I was a bit tired in the end, and it was a lesson for us that one set batsmen need to bat deep till the end,” said Rohit at the post-match presentation.