On his 30th birthday, Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya is having a memorable day, securing his second wicket against Afghanistan in the 2023 World Cup match in Delhi on Wednesday, October 11. Azmatullah Omarzai, who had been batting impressively with a score of 62 off 69 balls, fell victim to Pandya’s cleverly disguised off-cutter, resulting in his dismissal while attempting to guide the ball to third man.
Hardik Pandya was overjoyed, and with good reason, considering the significance of that wicket for the Indian cricket team at that particular point in the match. With Omarazi’s dismissal, Hardik Pandya etched his name into the annals of history by reaching 30 wickets in ICC tournaments, which encompass not only the ODI World Cup but also the Champions Trophy and T20 World Cups.
Hardik Pandya has become just the second Indian player to accomplish the remarkable feat of scoring over 500 runs and capturing 30 or more wickets in ICC tournaments.
You can watch the video of the dismissal and the celebration here:
View this post on Instagram
Hardik Pandya stopped a dangerous partnership for the Indian
Azmatullah Omarzai and captain Hashmatullah Shahidi came together to bat for Afghanistan when they were in a challenging situation at 63/3. While they initially had trouble with getting singles, Omarzai started hitting boundaries and sixes regularly.
Despite Captain Rohit Sharma trying different bowlers, the duo handled all challenges well. This is why Hardik Pandya’s wicket of Omarzai was extremely important for the home team.
Shahidi remains on the field, aiming to form another significant partnership, this time with experienced Mohammad Nabi. It’ll be intriguing to observe how this duo approaches their partnership, especially with India gaining confidence after ending the 121-run partnership.
Afghanistan has more strong batsmen to follow, like Najibullah Zadran and Rashid Khan. They hope Shahidi and Nabi can stay at the crease for a long time and then unleash their power in the final overs to target a score beyond 300.