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New Zealand vs India: Hardik Pandya takes a blinder to send back Kane Williamson

Pandya has sizzled in his comeback game on the field.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India and New Zealand are currently fighting it out in the third of the five-match ODI series at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. The hosts are facing the must-win game as they opted to bat first after winning the toss. But nothing changed for India as their new-ball bowlers plucked the first couple of wickets early and kept the run-rate in check. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor then had to rebuild but the former was also sent back thanks to brilliance in the field from Hardik Pandya.

Pandya joined the team only before this game and he straightaway walked back in the playing XI for Vijay Shankar. Virat Kohli was quick to bring him into the action as well soon after the powerplay. But the all-rounder made his first impact on the field by taking a stunning catch of the Kiwi skipper in the 17th over of the innings.

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Back to back dot balls were increasing the pressure on the batsmen. New Zealand needed to up the ante as the run-rate of 3.5 wasn’t enough at that stage of the game. Visibly, Williamson was frustrated and in the process, played a ball in the air only to find Hardik at midwicket.

Pandya’s agility

The incident took place in the 17th over of the innings when Yuzvendra Chahal was bowling. Kane Williamson came down the track off the second delivery of the over in order to break free. But he failed to reach the pitch of the ball and couldn’t keep the flick down the ground. The ball went to the left of the mid-wicket fielder where Hardik Pandya was stationed. He timed his jump perfectly and plucked the catch out of the thin air.

India had broken yet another partnership and that was due to Pandya’s exceptional fielding effort. He couldn’t have asked for a better comeback after what had transpired over the last few weeks and will be keen to make a further impact in the game now.

Here’s the video:

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