Twitter stunned as Hardik Pandya pulls off a blinder at long-off

It almost looked like the right-hander hit the ball sweetly, only for the ball to land well within the ropes and Pandya caught it in mid-air.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: Twitter)

New Zealand won the toss and elected to chase in the first T20 International at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi. Batting first, India got off to a blinder of a start, with Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan smoking guns from all direction. It was Dhawan, who got off to a blazer in the beginning before Rohit caught up square with the scoring rate. The left-hander was dismissed when he tried to smack the ball off Ish Sodhi, and it resulted in a simple stumping for the Kiwi side.

Hardik Pandya, who was promoted to No.3 failed to get off to the start that Virat Kohli expected him to, and got out in the very second delivery of his stay at the pitch. Kohli, who came in after Pandya hit the ball sweetly from Ball 1 and India looked well set to get a total of well above 200. The hosts eventually ended the innings with a score of 202, and the Kiwi side required to score 203 to keep their record intact.


The incident:

New Zealand’s chase did not get off to the required start, with the openers only able to muster five runs in the opening over of the departing left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra. However, it was in the second over that New Zealand lost the wicket when Martin Guptill stepped down the pitch to hit the leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal out of the ground.

It almost looked like the right-hander hit the ball sweetly, only for the ball to land well within the ropes. What Guptill would not have expected is that the long-off fielder Hardik Pandya would catch the ball. The all-rounder from Baroda made a heroic attempt and caught the ball just inches off the ground. The ball was travelling at some pace, and it required the all-rounder to sprint and put on a dive to get hold off the ball.

The reaction was immediate, as MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli applauded the tremendous effort; Twitter too was shell-shocked as the other fielders, and the New Zealand dugout: