Hardik Pandya led from the front in the IPL 2022 final against Rajasthan Royals, producing a stunning spell of bowling to put Gujarat Titans in the driver’s seat. Having lost the toss, Gujarat Titans came under some early pressure with young Yashasvi Jaiswal chancing his arm. Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson then steadied RR before Hardik Pandya removed his counterpart. Buttler seemed to be headed for another big score but was stopped short in his tracks by Hardik.
The Indian all-rounder then got another big fish in the form of Shimron Hetmyer to end with figures of three for 17 off his four overs. Hardik Pandya’s sensational spell led to a frenzy on Twitter. Apart from fans, likes of former cricketers Harbhajan Singh, Sanjay Manjrekar, and Wasim Jaffer among others weighed in on the Gujarat Titans captain’s performance.
Talent koot koot ke bhara hai is bande mein. Hardik Pandya take a bow!
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) May 29, 2022
Hardik to RR tonight #GTvRR #IPLFinals
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) May 29, 2022
HARDIK the BOWLER is back.. What a spell captain @hardikpandya7 @gujarat_titans
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) May 29, 2022
Brilliant spell by Hardik in this big game. Now caught the biggest fish of the match. #GTvsRR
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) May 29, 2022
Good bowling changes, good field placement, and great execution of plans. Hardik Pandya is turning out to be a great captain in this year’s IPL. #GTvsRR #TATAIPL2022
— Amit Mishra (@MishiAmit) May 29, 2022
Earlier, Sanju Samson won the toss and elected to bat. RR got off to a decent start courtesy of a 22-run cameo from Jaiswal. The young left-hander, though, took one too many chances and fell to Yash Dayal. Buttler and Samson ensured RR didn’t have any more setbacks in the powerplay overs. Samson hit a couple of good shots but fell to Hardik while going for an ambitious pull shot. GT’s Afghanistan star Rashid Khan then joined the party and sent the struggling Devdutt Padikkal back to the pavilion on 2. In the very next over, Hardik Pandya dealt RR a body blow by removing Buttler on 39. RR were left reeling following the Englishman’s dismissal. Hardik Pandya wasn’t done just yet. He then took an easy caught and bowled to dismiss Hetmyer and put GT firmly in control. The GT captain’s brilliant spell helped restrict the Royals to 130/9.