IPl 2019: Hardik Pandya smashed 32 not out off 14 balls in the final two overs which helped MI post a match-winning total of 187 at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on Thursday.
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma on Thursday said that all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s knock made all the difference in the end as they beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 6 runs to register their first victory in the Indian Premier
Hardik Pandya then came to the crease and smashed 32 not out off 14 balls, including 15 runs in the final over bowled by Mohammed Siraj to propel Mumbai to a challenging total at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.
It proved to be enough in the end as Mumbai restricted Royal Challengers Bangalore to 181 for 5 in 20 overs. Pandya also bowled 3 overs and gave away 37 runs without taking a wicket.
“Hardik Pandya’s runs in the end made the difference in this game. He was wanting to go out there and score some runs. Last game didn’t go well for him. He had the hunger to go out there and do well. He came out and got those crucial runs in the end.
“I thought he bowled well also in the middle overs. Even though he went for a few runs but that is fine, Bangalore is one place where bowlers will go for runs. But he bowled really well, much improved performance from the last game,” Rohit Sharma said at the post-match press conference.
The Mumbai Indians captain also felt that Hardik Pandya will get better with each passing game after being away from the sport for a while due to his injury and then the subsequent suspension that was levied on him by the BCCI for his controversial comments on the TV show Koffee with Karan.
“He was out for a bit, didn’t play a lot of games. It augurs very well for us if he keeps that form going. He’s a crucial member in the team, is a very flexible batsman also and he is a good bowler also. His form is very important to us,” Rohit Sharma said.