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Hardik Pandya first among the Indian players to tweet after CT 2017 final defeat

Hardik scored 76 runs off 43 balls which included 4 fours and 6 sixes.

Hardik Pandya of India
Hardik Pandya of India swings his bat in frustration. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

While the Indian team put up a disappointing show in the final of the Champions Trophy 20147 they were supposed to win. It was one man who stood out. As his teammates almost submitted against the Pakistani bowlers he challenged them with his big hitting. Shadab Khan who was turning the ball and not letting the Indian batsmen breathe easy was hit for six and not one three consecutive sixes. That is how Hardik Pandya lived at the crease last night.

He walked out when MS Dhoni gave Imad Wasim a catch at deep square leg off Hasan Ali. The match was right then officially over for the Indian team. But Hardik has always been someone who doesn’t give up without a fight. His Twitter cover picture has an image of his left forearm with a tattoo of ‘Believe’ on it.

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That defines Hardik Pandya. Someone who believes in himself and his abilities. There was no pressure on him, as there was nothing to lose, the inevitable looked certain but he didn’t accept it and took on the Pakistan bowlers. A boundary off Shadab on the seventh ball of his inning and his intentions were clear. The 11th ball went to the ropes as well with Hasan Ali the bowler this time. In the leg-spinner’s next he hit him for the first six and a boundary in the following over.

Packs a punch

He was just setting it up for the onslaught by then. In the 23rd over of the match as the Indian score crept past the 100-run mark Pandya displayed his clean hitting prowess against the spinner. The first ball was tossed up and in his zone, the Indian allrounder hit it into the stands over cow corner, the second ball was in his hitting area again and the result was the same, this time over long-on. Pandya brought up his half century with the next six as he took just 32 balls to get past fifty.

It was the fastest fifty in an ICC ODI event final beating Mohammad Hafeez’s record of 34 balls who achieved it just a couple of hours ago. But wait he wasn’t done yet. Another boundary in the over and that over added 23 runs to the Indian total. Suddenly the fans had something to cheer about and though he had only Ravindra Jadeja for company there was still hope!

In the 26th over Sarfraz Ahmed introduced centurion from the first inning Fakhar Zaman into the attack and Pandya packed him for a couple of sixes on consecutive deliveries as well. They didn’t just clear the ropes, though he is a lanky fellow landed the ball as high as the second tier of the Kennington Oval.

The run out

But his heroics were to end in an anti-climax. Ravindra Jadeja pushed a Hasan Ali delivery towards mid-wicket and there was a single on offer. Pandya immediately set for the run but Jadeja was in no mood. He was busy ball watching and by the time he realised Pandya was standing right next to him. For sense to prevail Jadeja who was clearly not the better player on the night should’ve sacrificed his wicket but he didn’t and a gutted, frustrated and utterly disappointed.

He shouted his way back to the pavilion and his disappointment could be seen with each step he took. Hardik scored 76 runs off 43 balls which included 4 fours and 6 sixes.

On the following morning after the game Hardik had collected himself and posted a tweet- “#CT17 was an incredible journey for #TeamIndia. We gave it our best. A complete teameffort. Thank you everyone for the messages & support,” he wrote.

Hardik being Hardik followed it up with another tweet about his knock last night.

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