Currently in fine form, Hardik Pandya created history on Sunday as he became the first Indian player to score 1000 runs and take 50 wickets in T20I cricket. He achieved the superlative feat during India’s ongoing T20 World Cup opener at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne.
He achieved the feat during India’s innings, while chasing 160 runs. The other players in the list are Shahid Afridi, Shakib Al Hasan, Dwayne Bravo, Thisara Perera, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Hafeez and Kevin O’Brien.
Hardik had earlier taken a three-wicket haul as India restricted Pakistan to 159/8 in 20 overs. Arshdeep Singh also took a three-wicket haul for India. Meanwhile, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami bagged a dismissal each for India. Shan Masood was in good batting form for Pakistan and smacked an unbeaten knock of 52 runs off 42 balls, including five fours. Meanwhile, Iftikhar Ahmed hammered 51 runs off 34 deliveries, packed with two fours and four sixes.
Chasing a target of 160 runs, India had a shaky start, losing the wickets of openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma within the first four overs. Rahul could only muster four runs off eight balls and Rohit registered four runs off seven deliveries. Meanwhile, Suryakumar Yadav was also left stunned as he could only add 15 runs to the scoreboard. Hardik also lost his wicket in the final over, with India needing 16 runs off six balls. He registered 40 runs off 37 balls.
Ahead of the match, Pandya was even asked about his fitness, to which he replied, “Have many fond memories here, I made my T20I debut in Australia, and from there the journey has continued. It’s good to be back here, you can’t get a better place to play sport and enjoy. The body is fine, I think you should put that topic about my body on rest, you will see me bowling.”
“We are playing international cricket, it’s not only about Pakistan bowlers. Any team which is playing will have quality bowling at this level, international cricket has certain standards. So we all are aware about it and as a batting unit we have had a word about it. We have worked very hard to come here. The team that plays well, wins the contest”, he further added.