India clinched the nail-biter against Sri Lanka in the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup 2023. While it was Indian spinners who chipped in, the brilliance of Hardik Pandya with the ball cannot be ignored as well at R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
India posted just 213 runs on the board with the bat and then with the ball they kept things tight. However, a valiant 63-run partnership between Dhananjaya de Silva (41) and Dunith Wellalage (42*) brought Sri Lanka into the game.
The duo even took spinners to the cleaners and it seemed that they would take Sri Lanka home. It was then that skipper Rohit Sharma brought his deputy Hardik Pandya into the attack. The all-rounder bowled his heart out and troubled the Sri Lankan batters. He squeezed the runs flow, which put pressure on two batters.
The pressure saw Dhananjaya de Silva giving up his wicket and Hardik Pandya then chipping in with the wicket of Maheesh Theekshana. But it wouldn’t have been possible without the effort of Suryakumar Yadav, who came in as a substitute fielder for Ishan Kishan.
Hardik Pandya bowled a length delivery on the stumps that was angling in. Maheesh Theekshana tried to flick it towards the mid-on. Suryakumar Yadav moved to his right and put in a sensational dive to pluck the catch just over the grass. Here’s the video:
— No-No-Crix (@Hanji_CricDekho) September 12, 2023
After that Kuldeep Yadav picked up the remaining two wickets and India bundled out Sri Lanka for 172 runs. They won the game by the margin of 41 runs and qualified for the final of the tournament.
IND vs SL: He has worked really hard in his bowling – Rohit Sharma On Hardik Pandya
Indian captain Rohit Sharma heaped rich praise on Hardik Pandya for his bowling. He hailed the hard work the all-rounder put in and said that it looked like he would take a wicket on every ball. Speaking at the post-match presentation, he explained:
“He has worked really hard in his bowling for the last couple of years. It doesn’t happen overnight and it’s pleasing to see. He looked like taking a wicket off every ball. Was not an easy target to defend as the pitch got easier at the end and we had to put it consistently in one area and I think we did quite well.”
India will be next seen in action when they will take on Bangladesh on Friday (15th September).
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