Mumbai Indians (MI) all-rounder Hardik Pandya played the best inning of his life but failed to secure a win as they fail short by 34 runs against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Pandya who missed his century by nine runs admitted that the situation compelled him to go after the bowlers and not think about his hundred.
Struggling at 58 for four in pursuit of 223 runs set by Kolkata from Andre Russell heroics, Hardik Pandya launched a carnage at the historic stadium. He got into the fifth gear from the first ball and struck six fours and nine towering sixes to take Mumbai Indians almost close to the winning runs. However, Mumbai had the worst possible losing both their openers within the powerplays. After his magical efforts with the bat, Andre Russell shone with the ball to dismiss Evin Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav – both of whom were looking in good touch and got starts. The wicket of Suryakumar saw Pandya come in the middle and since then, it was only him all over the ground. Harry Gurney got him in the nervous 90s when he mistimed another shot in an attempt to clear the rope.
Speaking at the end of the game, Hardik Pandya lamented on missing his first limited overs century. He admitted that this would have been a new feeling for him, but the situation compelled him to go after the bowling. Pandya also noted that he was hitting the ball brilliantly and only mishit the ball he got out.
“I was just telling Krunal ‘damn I am close to a hundred’ that is something new for me. The situation demanded to go all out and I was lucky enough everything was coming out, except the ball I got out,” Pandya said.
Holding my shape well
Hardik Pandya has been in good shape right from the start of the IPL. This will be a massive advantage for the Indian National Cricket Team ahead of the World Cup. The dynamic all-rounder added that he is currently in good shape and confident which has changed his game. Pandya said that if his brother Krunal Pandya could hit the ball for a few six, then the outcome of the match could have been different.
“I am just holding my shape pretty well and the confidence makes a huge difference. I knew something different had to happen, but it was difficult for one guy to keep going. If Krunal had got a couple, we would have been proper in the game. My plan was to get close to the total so that the run rate doesn’t get affected,” he concluded.