In another thrilling night in the Indian Premier League, Hardik Pandya impressed everyone by finishing the match for Mumbai Indians against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Mumbai won the match by five wickets to dent Bangalore's hopes of qualifying for the playoffs.
Apart from Hardik, Malinga starred for Mumbai and laid the foundation for MI's victory by picking four wickets in his quota of four overs. Out of his four scalps, three came in the last over to reduce RCB to an achievable total of 171/7.
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Mumbai were off to flyer in their chase with Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma in full power, smashing RCB bowlers all around the park. They made 70 runs off first 7 overs before RCB spinners spun a web to destroy their batting line up. But Hardik had different ideas as he chased down the target with one over left.
Pandya smashed 25 runs in the 19th over off Pawan Negi to finish the match with an over to spare.
Veteran Malinga was chosen as the Man of the Match for his bowling performance. But after the match, Sri Lanka ODI team skipper said that he is afraid to bowl Pandya in the World Cup.
“How good for him (Hardik) and I am also very scared to bowl at him. If I play the World Cup against him, I will be really scared to bowl to him,” Malinga said on MI tv.
Skipper Rohit was also impressed with Hardik's power hitting and praised his skills of finishing the game for MI in the IPL.
"His (Hardik's) hitting has been helping the team and him as well to move forward. This is something he wanted to do because he didn't have a lot of time before coming to the IPL," Rohit said after Monday's match.
"So he wanted to prove a point with bat and ball, to himself more than anyone else. The way he is hitting it gives us confidence as a team that there is someone who can hit that well at the end and win crucial games."