Phenomenal Team India went on to register their first ever ODI series victory against South Africa in the Rainbow Nation beating in the fifth match of the six-match series by 73 runs at St. Goerge Park in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday. Enroute to their victory Virat Kohli and Co. produced some unparallel moments which not only team India but the entire cricketing fraternity will remember for days to come. Riding Rohit Sharma‘s 17 ODI ton India posted a challenging total on a slow track chasing which the Proteas got flattened by wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav‘s 4 for 53. Amid all the fielding screw ups India put up some excellent efforts, credits to hotshot all-rounder Hardik Pandya‘s one hand stunner to dismiss Tabraiz Shamsi.
In the 42nd over of SA innings, Kuldeep Yadav was bowling his 10th over. Yadav banged in the fourth delivery at a full length and as the ball turned back in Shamsi connected only to lob it up towards long off. Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya positioned at long on and off respectively rushed in the attempt to catch but surprisingly no one called for it. And when it was presumed that the ball might not land on someone’s mitts due to the confusion, Hardik Pandya plucked the ball from the middle of the air with his right hand leaving the entire St. George Park in amazement.
Here’s the instance:
Pandya does it again pic.twitter.com/LE9Zf3zXsJ
— Cricket Videos (@cricvideos11) February 13, 2018
The moment had left everybody on the field with their hearts in their mouth as the two fielders were inches away from colliding. And the commentator Michael Holding exclaimed in awe that when there’s a need to speak up, no one does. And following the spellbinding moment he went on to comment that’s one way to catch but that’s surely not how players do it around the world.
Hardik Pandya, who cemented his place in the squad based on his performance, failed miserably in the limited overs. When India needed him the most to click with his bat, Pandya was rendered absolutely silent. But, when the Proteas were on their march to chase down 275, Hardik Pandya chipped in with his game-changing overs to dismiss big fishes JP Duminy and AB de Villiers for 1 and 6 respectively in successive overs.
While India roped in severe criticism for their poor fielding efforts, Pandya made Hashim Amla walk back with a direct hit from long on that might have reduced the hosts’ chances of making a comeback into the game. Amla was run-out after a feisty 71 off 92, the only mentionable inning of the Proteas’ chase.