NEW DELHI: Swashbuckling Hardik Pandya was at his fluent best on Saturday as he fired an unbeaten 27-ball 50 blitzkrieg against Bangladesh in the Super 8 game in Antigua, lifting India to their highest total of the 2024 T20 World Cup.
Taking the Bangladesh bowlers to the cleaners, the vice-captain once again proved to be the X-factor as he struck a brutal knock that had four fours and three gigantic sixes in it and came at the whopping strike rate of over 185, powering India to 196 for 5.
With the masterful effort, Hardik became the first Indian batter to score a half-century coming in at No.6 in the T20 World Cup history.
As Hardik lifted India to the highest total ever in T20Is in North Sound, social media was abuzz, lauding the 30-year-old.

“Wicket looked alright, the par would have been 180, but we got 197 I think that is like a good score here. Hopefully with our bowling line-up, with a little bit of consistency, we will be able to do well. He (Dube) had to take his time because his role was to take on the spinners, I think when the time came we both were allowed to free our hands and that was very important to us. It tends to get slower at the end, discipline and good bowling will be crucial,” said Hardik during the mid-innings chat with the broadcasters.
Alongside Hardik’s unbeaten fifty, Shivam Dube (34 off 24 balls), Rishabh Pant (36 off 24 balls) and Virat Kohli (37 off 28 balls) also made significant contributions to India’s solid total.
Seamer Tanzim Hasan Sakib (2/32) was the pick of Bangladeshi bowlers.