Sports, Oct 23: India all-rounder Hardik Pandya wrote history by becoming the first Indian to cross 1000 T20I runs and pick 50 wickets. Pandya achieved the feat during India’s Super-12 clash against Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The 29-year-old picked up the wickets of Haider Ali, Shadab Khan, and Mohammad Nawaz in the first innings to help restrict Pakistan to 159 for 8 in 20 overs. The all-rounder gave away 30 runs in four overs.
In the second innings, Pandya came in when India found themselves pegged down to 31 for 4 after 6.1 overs. He provided the perfect support to former captain Virat Kohli as the two started to resurrect India’s innings. The two went on to stitch a 113-run partnership. Pandya’s innings of 40 runs off 37 balls included one boundary and two sixes, at a strike rate of 108.10.
After winning the toss, India captain Rohit Sharma decided to field first. Rohit said the pitch looks good with a bit of grass, which could aid the bowlers in overcast conditions in the second innings.
Batting first, Pakistan was pegged back by some brilliant bowling from India’s pace bowlers. But Shan Masood and Iftikhar Ahmed got Pakistan back in the game by scoring half-centuries.
Arshdeep Singh was the pick of India’s bowlers, claiming three wickets and giving away 32 runs in four overs. Pakistan ended the innings with 159 for 8 on the board after 20 overs.
In the second innings, Pakistan’s pace attack destroyed India’s top order, with captain Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul departing without getting to double figures. Kohli and Pandya were the two batters who could stand tall against Pakistan’s lethal bowling attack.