Abu Dhabi [UAE], October 2 (ANI): Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya is 'very proud' of the way he and Kieron Pollard have accumulated big runs in the end against Kings XI Punjab at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
Pollard and Pandya smashed 18 runs in the 18th over and 19 runs in the 19th over. The duo then whacked four sixes in the final over to reach 191 runs in 20 overs. In the last six over, Mumbai scored 104 runs.
The duo had a 67-run unbeaten partnership off 23 balls. Pandya smashed 30* while Pollard played a knock of 47 runs off 20 balls.
"It was simple, the number of times me and Pollard have done this. This is fantastic and I have always enjoyed that part. When I went (to bat) it was a clear message that I should go hard because I was looking to have some big runs in the end and get to a total where Kings find it difficult. We did not aim for 192 but we were lucky enough the big man (Pollard) has done it again and I'm very proud of the way we both batted," Hardik told Krunal Pandya in a video posted on iplt20.com.
Hardik further criticised KL Rahul's decision to hand a ball to Krishnappa Gowtham in the last over of the innings, who went on for 24 runs.
"It was very intense and it was more like mouth-watering that off-spinner bowling the 20th over. I missed two balls but Pollard made most of the runs," Hardik added.
While defending a mammoth target of 192 runs, Krunal came in to attack in the fourth over and just gave four runs in it which added pressure on Punjab's batsmen. As a result, in the next over Jasprit Bumrah got the first breakthrough for the side as he scalped Mayank Agarwal (25).
"When I came after fourth over where they were actually going really well. I was just thinking of bowling according to the field and I was actually very determined as well. I took it as a challenge and I thought if I bowl good from here we can come back in the game," Krunal said.
Punjab lost the game by 48-run as James Pattinson, Rahul Chahal and Bumrah picked two wickets each while Trent Boult and Krunal Pandya scalped one.
Chasing 192 runs, KXIP got off to a good start. However, Bumrah castled in-form Mayank Agarwal (25) in the fifth over. Minutes later, Krunal Pandya bowled Karun Nair for a duck.
Nicholas Pooran then joined skipper KL Rahul and the duo stitched a 21 run stand. Rahul's sluggish innings came to an end in the ninth over which reduced Punjab for 60/3.
Pooran played brilliantly and tried to revive KXIP's hope in the chase through his power-hitting before getting out in the 14th over. He scored 44 runs off 27 balls which included two glorious sixes.
Pooran's wicket triggered a middle-order collapse as Glenn Maxwell and Jimmy Neesham departed in quick succession. KXIP kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were soon found reeling at 124/8. In the end, Punjab fell 49 runs short of the target. (ANI)