Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya was in his elements on Sunday as he smashed unbeaten 60 off just 21 balls against Rajasthan Royals in the match no. 45 of Indian Premier League 2020.
Pandya plundered 7 sixes and 2 fours during his fiery innings and played with a whopping strike rate of 285.71. Riding on his superb effort, MI scored 195/5 in 20 overs after they opted to bat first.
Meanwhile, cricket fraternity and fans took to Twitter to praise Pandya for his swashbuckling innings:
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) October 25, 2020
I have been lucky to have seen @hardikpandya7 play a few sensational innings. But even by those standards, this was astonishing. Very very special. He is a rare talent
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 25, 2020
First 9 balls: 8 Runs
Next 12 Balls: 52 Runs
— Broken Cricket (@BrokenCricket) October 25, 2020
Hardik Pandya took a knee and raised his hands, Kieron Pollard appreciated this gesture and raised his hands too. pic.twitter.com/PUW61s0RF1
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) October 25, 2020
Massive respect, Hardik Pandya – You are earning it from your attitude. pic.twitter.com/uuAHX7zMGL
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) October 25, 2020
Nobody, literally nobody.
— Ahmed Shaikh 🏹 (@Ashaikhalam) October 25, 2020
Most runs by a batsman in the last 3 overs in IPL:
— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) October 25, 2020
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) October 25, 2020
Talking about the match, Mumbai suffered a mini-collapse in the middle-overs and but late hitting from Hardik, and Saurabh Tiwary (34 of 25) enabled the defending champions to amass 74 runs in the last four overs.
Tiwary and Hardik shared a 64-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Tiwary was brutal against Archer (2-31) in the 17th over, smashing two fours and a maximum while Hardik hammered four sixes off Ankit Rajpoot (0-60) in the 18th over, which went for 27 runs.
Hardik launched into Kartik Tyagi (1-45) in the final over, hitting him for three sixes and two fours. His blitzkrieg can prove to be the difference in the game.
After Mumbai lost opener Quinton De Kock (6) early, Ishan Kishan (37 off 36 balls) and Suryakumar Yadav (40 off 26) rallied the innings with their 83-run second-wicket stand.
Kishan and Surya again tore into pacer Rajpoot, smashing a six each as Mumbai raced to 59 for one after six overs.
Surya went on the offensive against Shreyas Gopal, collecting two boundaries in the ninth over.
But Rajasthan pulled things back by dismissing Kishan, Surya and Kieron Pollard (6) in quick succession as Mumbai slipped to 101 for four.
Kishan perished courtesy a one-handed blinder from Archer at third-man, off Tyagi, and then Gopal removed Surya and Pollard in the 13th over.
While Surya gave a sitter to Ben Stokes, Pollard was undone by a googly, which uprooted his stumps.
Thereafter, it was the Hardika Pandya show.