Melbourne [Australia]: Following his side’s five-wicket win over Pakistan in their ICC T20 World Cup match, star Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya said that the plan was to develop a big partnership with Virat Kohli and bat deep.
An explosive half-century by star batter Virat Kohli and a century stand with Hardik Pandya helped India defeat Pakistan by four wickets in their Group 2, Super 12 match of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday.
“We wanted to form a partnership and bat deep. We did not have the option of going for big shots as we were four down. We had the belief we could win,” said Pandya after the match.
Reflecting on his journey in these past six months, Pandya said that his journey has been fantastic and he would not change anything for it.
“I had told Rahul sir (Rahul Dravid, head coach) that this is all I wanted to do after my comeback to the game, enjoy it, contribute as much as possible. There are certain standards I want to play with. I would like to thank everyone who supported me, including my family, trainers, physio etc. They all gave me confidence and ease,” he added.
With this win, India is at top of Group 2 with two points.
Put to bat first by India, Pakistan put up 159/8 in their 20 overs.
Shan Masood (52) and Iftikhar Ahmed (51) scored solid half-centuries but Pakistan kept losing wickets consistently.
A 76-run stand between Masood and Ahmed was crucial for Pakistan.
Hardik Pandya (3/30) and Arshdeep (3/32) shined for India with the ball. Shami and Bhuvneshwar also got a wicket each.
Chasing 160, India was reduced to 31/4 in less than seven overs.
From then on, Virat and Hardik started to rebuild the game, putting a 113-run stand.
Pandya was dismissed for 40 but Virat ended unbeaten to score 82 off 53 balls with six fours and four sixes to guide his team to a four-wicket win.
Virat got the ‘Man of the Match’ for his knock.
Brief score: Pakistan 159/8 (Shan Masood 52, Iftikhar Ahmed 51; Hardik Pandya 3-30) vs India: 160/6 (Virat Kohli 82, Hardik Pandya 40, Haris Rauf 2/36).