All-rounder Hardik Pandya once again won a match for his team, this time though it was his bowling which helped Mumbai knock out Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) of the tournament.
Pandya’s 2 for 20 in 3 overs helped secure a convincing nine-wicket victory in what turned out to be a one-sided clash at the Wankhede on Sunday.
The Surat boy picked up the crucial wickets of Chris Lynn and Shubman Gill stopping KKR from getting off to a flying start. It was after those two fell that Kolkata never got going and ended up posting just a paltry 133/7 in their 20 overs.
The 25-year-old ended up bagging the Man of the Match award.
Speaking after the game, Pandya said he was really pleased to get the MoM for his bowling.
“For sure, getting a Man of the Match for my bowling is really pleasing. To be honest as a batsman, there is nothing better than hitting a ball. People don’t expect a lot from my bowling, neither do I, but it feels nice,” he said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
The all-rounder has been in tremendous form with the bat in this IPL edition, scoring 380 runs of 14 matches at a strike rate of 198.
Pandya said he considers himself a regular four-over bowler.
“I definitely look at myself as a four-over bowler, I am ready to do whatever my team wants me to do, bowl four, ten or even fifteen overs in a Test match. We have one more bowling option and it helps when somebody has an off day.”
The three-time IPL champions, who finished in pole position with 18 points from 14 matches, will now take on second-placed Chennai Super Kings in the Qualifier 1 in Chennai on Tuesday.
“Definitely, Chennai is a different challenge all together. It will be a cracker of a game. We just hope to get the best out of that one and go through to the finals,” Pandya insisted.