It is rare to watch a batsman get out hit wicket in the Indian Premier League (IPL) – a tournament that is all about hitting sixes and boundaries, often off the front foot. But Mumbai Indians’ Hardik Pandya did get out in that manner – his first such dismissal in 68 IPL matches – against Kolkata Knight Riders in Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
The Baroda player later in the match atoned for his mistake by taking three catches, with the one coming off Nitish Rana’s lofted cover drive being simply breathtaking.
Pandya scored 13 off 18 balls before he went too far back into the crease to play a shot against pacer Andre Russell. As his aimed to play the ball on the off side, the toe of his bat clipped the bails. Curiously, Pandya found something funny in his dismissal as he smiled while walking back into the hut.
Later, Pandya seemed to make amends for that rare dismissal. Although Pandya also took the catches of Nikhil Naik and Pat Cummins, the running grab of Rana was brilliant as he maintained is balance even as he kept his eye on the ball while running along the boundary.
Rana’s catch by Pandya provided much happiness to the bowler, Kieron Adrian Pollard, for whom it was his first IPL wicket since 2015. It was Pollard’s 150th IPL match for Mumbai Indians, the only team he has represented in his 11-year long association with the world’s most lucrative tournament.