The Pandya brothers are reigning supreme over one of the greatest batsman in the modern-day cricket. After all, getting AB de Villiers’ wicket is no mean feat but the Pandyas – Hardik and Krunal – have made him their bunny in the recent past.
The former South Africa captain is making his comeback into the ODI team after a gap of more than 3 months but Pandya junior is making life difficult for him at the moment.
The Proteas were chasing 275 for victory and were 2 down for 55 runs when ABD joined Hashim Amla at the crease but he didn’t survive for too long.
Hardik cut short de Villiers’ stay at the crease for the second successive time as he dismissed him for 6. His departure left South Africa tottering at 65 for 3.
This is how he got Mr 360 during South Africa’s chase at Port Elizabeth:
12.5 overs: H Pandya to de Villiers, OUT! There goes the match and the series! Too early to say? AB de Villiers has come and gone and India are all over South Africa like a rash. 3 wickets in the span of 20 balls. Hardik gets his second wicket in his second over. And we are not even properly into the spinners yet. All the best, South Africa. Coming to the ball, de Villiers flashes hard to a length delivery and does not move his feet. Only gets a thick outside edge and Dhoni does the rest. Hardik Pandya is all smiles.
Hardik failed to get going with the bat but he made amends in the second innings as he removed JP Duminy and de Villiers as soon as he was introduced into the attack. He also ran out a set Amla on 71 with a direct hit from mid-off to turn the tide in India’s favour.
The Men in Blue eventually bowled out the Proteas for 201 to win the match by 73 runs to secure the series win (4-1) with one match in hand. It was also India’s first bilateral ODI series win in South Africa and the 9th successive series win.
Earlier, India posted 274/7 in 50 overs courtesy Rohit Sharma’s 17th ODI hundred (115 off 126 balls). Virat Kohli (36) and Shikhar Dhawan (34) also made useful contributions while for the Proteas, Lungi Ngidi starred with the ball finishing with 4 wickets for 51 runs in 9 overs.
The 24-year-old all-rounder had sent de Villiers packing in the fourth ODI as well at Johannesburg which India eventually lost by 5 wickets (via DLS method):
16.5 overs: H Pandya to de Villiers, OUT! Know what’s precision? Picking out the man stationed on the fence to perfection. And AB
de Villiers has done just that. Fuller in length, angling in, de Villiers flicks it away off his pads. Does so aerially and the ball flies straight to Rohit Sharma at fine leg. He didn’t have to move an inch. Know who moved a lot? Hardik Pandya. He was up and running to his mate who had managed to hold on to the catch to give him the big scalp. India have the hosts needing exactly the triple figure more, with just 67 deliveries to bowl at them. Game, set, match?
Fortunately for the hosts, De Villiers’ wicket didn’t hurt them too much in that game as David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen’s 72-run stand helped South Africa chase down the revised target of 202 in 25.3 overs.
Hardik’s elder brother Krunal on the other hand, has been de Villiers’ biggest nemesis in the Indian Premier League in the last two seasons.
Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians squared off four times in the last two years with Krunal getting him out all four times with his slow left-arm orthodox bowling.
On all four occasions Mumbai Indians won the match with de Villiers getting out on 43, 19, 24 and 29.