Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya played a match-turning knock of 30-ball 40 runs against Punjab Kings on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi.
Pandya missed the first two games for MI after the IPL 2021 season restarted on September 19 and failed to chase against RCB in his last game. The all-rounder could only make three but got out to Harshal Patel’s off-cutter after mistiming his shot and holed it out to Virat Kohli.
Hardik Pandya’s late hitting helped MI beat Punjab by six wickets
The 27-year-old was in a different mode on a sluggish track at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium as he tonked four boundaries and a couple of sixes in his tremendous innings.
Pandya made just 12 runs from 16 balls at one stage, but things changed in the 17th over bowled by Mohammed Shami. Shami started with a short ball that hit Pandya on his arm, and the batsman hit a six and a four in the same over.
Pandya smashed 16 runs off four balls in the penultimate over against Shami to finish the game for Mumbai Indians, who won their first match in the second leg of IPL 2021 in UAE.
I will give credit to Mohammed Shami: Hardik Pandya
Pandya said that when he got hit on his arm, it motivated him to shift his gears and score rapidly against Punjab.
“To be honest, I will give credit to Mohammed Shami as well because the ball I got hit, I told Pollard that this woke up, and this changed things for me. Before that, I was finding it difficult,” Pandya told teammate Nathan Coulter-Nile in a video posted on iplt20.com.
“Over the period of time, I have realised when I make sure that every game, every opportunity is a new opportunity. You can be a hero and can make your team. I forget what has happened in the past and I make sure to give my 100 per cent,” he added.
Mumbai Indians might have got something to breathe after a six-wicket win against Punjab, but there is more to be done for the five-time champions to push their case for the playoff berth.