All-rounder Hardik Pandya celebrated his 30th birthday as Team India secured a convincing victory over Afghanistan in their second match of the 2023 World Cup on October 11. After their eight-wicket win, Hardik was joined by players and support staff in the dressing room to cut his birthday cake, surrounded by well-wishes from everyone.
Leading up to the game against Afghanistan, Hardik had a small cake-cutting ceremony with the host broadcaster and former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir. It marked the first time that Hardik had the opportunity to play an international game on his birthday, as he mentioned.
In an exceptional performance, the batting all-rounder marked his birthday by taking two crucial wickets, helping limit Afghanistan to a score of 272/8 on a friendly pitch in Delhi. The BCCI shared a video of Hardik Pandya’s post-game cake-cutting celebration as he turned 30, and he expressed his gratitude to fans, fellow players, and everyone who wished him on his 30th birthday in the video.
Watch the Video Here:
Before the match commenced, Hardik, who hails from Gujarat, joyfully mentioned receiving a birthday gift from his son Agastya and humorously acknowledged that the reality of no longer being in his 20s had hit him the night before. Hardik Pandya has been one of India’s premier pace-bowling all-rounders, accumulating over 3,500 runs and 172 wickets in his international career.
While the celebration of Hardik Pandya’s 30th birthday was in full swing, Team India remained focused on the field, securing their second consecutive victory in the ongoing 2023 World Cup. After a slight hiccup at 2/3 in their run chase of 200 against Australia in Chennai, the Indian team rebounded by overpowering the Afghan bowlers. India’s disciplined bowling performance restricted Afghanistan to a modest 272/8 in 50 overs on a batsman-friendly pitch in Delhi. Jasprit Bumrah led the way with figures of 4/39 in his 10 overs, with valuable contributions from Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, and Shardul Thakur.
In response, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma took center stage, scoring his 31st ODI century and breaking several records along the way. The 36-year-old recorded the fastest World Cup century by an Indian batter in just 63 deliveries, surpassing Kapil Dev’s record of 72. Rohit also became the first batter to achieve seven World Cup centuries, the joint-fastest to 1,000 World Cup runs, and the third-highest century scorer in ODIs, trailing only Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar.
Supported by a valuable 47 from Ishan Kishan and an unbeaten 55 from Virat Kohli, India easily reached the target in just 35 overs with eight wickets to spare. This victory sets the stage for the highly-anticipated clash between India and Pakistan, with both teams having won their opening two matches, scheduled to take place in Ahmedabad on Saturday.