Mumbai Indians (MI) have sealed the top spot of the Indian Premier League (IPL) points table following a dominating nine-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday. The hosts chased an attainable 134 for the win and skipper Rohit Sharma led his side with an unbeaten 55 off 48 deliveries. Another star performer was Hardik Pandya, who scalped 2 for 20 in three overs in the one-sided clash.
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.
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 altogether. 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.
(With IANS Inputs)