Hardik Pandya’s all-round brilliance guided India to a massive five-wicket win against arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday, August 28, at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. The Men in Blue chased down 148 runs with two balls to spare to start their Asia Cup 2022 campaign on a positive note.
Chasing 148, Virat Kohli gave India a decent start after KL Rahul walked back in the first over. But Mohammad Nawaz brought Pakistan back into the game, dismissing Rohit Sharma (12) and Kohli (35) in quick succession.
Hardik Pandya (33* off 17) and Ravindra Jadeja (35) steadied the ship with a 52-run partnership to bring the equation down to seven runs off the last over. Nawaz gave some hope to the Pakistani fans, dismissing Jadeja on the first ball of the final over. However, Pandya finished the game with a six over long-on.
Every fan and cricketer from all over the globe went mad as India completed a sweet revenge of their defeat at the ICC T20 World Cup last year at the same venue. The likes of Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli, and Sachin Tendulkar among others took to social media to congratulate India on a spectacular win.
Here are some of the reactions:
We fought. We fought real hard! And we’ll keep fighting 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/7esrZxg74l
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) August 28, 2022
— Arshdeep Singh (@arshdeepsinghh) August 28, 2022
Special win on a special day! 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/7WmE7GeJMD
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) August 28, 2022
— DK (@DineshKarthik) August 29, 2022
— Robin Aiyuda Uthappa (@robbieuthappa) August 28, 2022
क्या बात है भारतीय शेरों। शानदार जीत, और अदभुत प्रदर्शन। पाकिस्तान को हराकर भारतीय टीम ने एशिया कप में शानदार प्रदर्शन किया। क्रिकेट के लिए अच्छा दिन। भारत माता की जय।#IndiaVsPakistan pic.twitter.com/tZM96qBE3Q
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) August 28, 2022
It came down to fitness of the fast bowlers while put under pressure, though both teams’ pacers bowled well upfront.
Crucial knock by Hardik to stay till the end & get us over the line & ably supported by @imjadeja & Virat.
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) August 28, 2022
Tonight it was a great match and victory 😃Well played boy’s , congratulations for the win 😃well done ❤️ 🇮🇳@indiancricketteam #teamindia #mdshami11 #mdshami #india #ipl #pak #asiacup pic.twitter.com/60OSjPfPFt
— Mohammad Shami (@MdShami11) August 28, 2022
When 2 strong teams play a big match and take it down to the last ball, then you know the fans have won as well because that’s what we want to see, a battle that is worth watching. @hardikpandya7 made his presence felt in both innings. Good display of skills by naseem and nawaz
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) August 28, 2022
Wow wow wow ! Fantastic Hardik Pandya. Sab kuchh main karega. Brilliant performance by Bhuvi, good hand by Jaddu and Kohli as well.
Glad to see a close #INDvsPAK match after a long time. Mast maza aa gaya. pic.twitter.com/HLNrnLRpK8
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 28, 2022
“Bowling short and the hard lengths have been my strengths” – Hardik Pandya
Before playing a match-winning knock, Hardik starred with the bowl, returning with figures 3/25 in his quota of four overs. It was his all-round performance that helped India complete a sweet victory.
Assessing his bowling at the post-match presentation ceremony, Hardik stated:
“In bowling, it’s important to assess the situations and use your weapons. For me, bowling short and the hard lengths have been my strengths. It’s about using them well and asking the right questions to make the batters commit a mistake.”
Speaking of his batting, the Baroda-born all-rounder said:
“In a chase like this, you always plan over-by-over. I always knew that there is one young bowler and also one left-arm spinner. We only needed 7 off the last over but even if we needed 15, I’d have fancied myself. I know the bowler is under more pressure than me in the 20th over. I try to keep things simple.”