Hardik Pandya had helped India defeat Pakistan in Asia Cup on Sunday© AFP
One man who seemed to do no wrong in the high-voltage India-Pakistan Asia Cup 2022 clash was Hardik Pandya. He not only picked three crucial wickets to restrict Pakistan to below 150, but also stayed unbeaten till the end to take India over the line in a tricky chase. With most of the Indian top batters back in the dug-out, Hardik took it upon himself to steer his team to a five-wicket win. It was yet another validation of Hardik’s abilities in the limited overs formats.
After the victory against the arch-rivals, Hardik spoke on the challenges presented by the Babar Azam-led Pakistan in the game.
“First of all, very happy to get this win because it was very important for us. Our nerves were checked, as a team we were kind of challenged as well but loved the way he (Jadeja) came out and played as well. Jaddu and I have been playing together for 7-8 years,” Hardik said in a video posted on BCCI’s official website.
“The Indian team is known for Top 3, very grateful that we are also getting the opportunities now and we are able to do the job. Our process is to play the World Cup and get the maximum opportunities. So going ahead, if the similar situation presents itself, we will remember this game.”
In the match, Pandya produced a special all-round effort as India held nerves to pull off an exciting five-wicket win over arch-rivals Pakistan in their Asia Cup opener. Hardik (3/25 in 4 overs) showed his high value under extreme pressure as his well-directed short balls helped India bowl out Pakistan for 147.
It should have been straight forward chase but India’s experienced top-three faltered, putting extra pressure on the middle order.
Hardik (33* off 17 balls) and Ravindra Jadeja (35 off 29) then shared a 52-run stand to take India on the cusp of of a famous win. The star all-rounder’s three fours off Haris Rauf off the 19th over effectively sealed the game for India.
With the team needing 6 off three balls, Hardik finished the game with a six off left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz.
With PTI inputs
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