New Delhi: Before he returned for his third over in the 18th over, Hardik Pandya would have thought to get away as soon as possible bowling six deliveries. For he had figures of 2-0-26-0 till then. He had been hit for 20 in his first over including 2 sixes and a four. But there is always a chance of a comeback in T20. Hardik returned and returned in style. He picked three wickets in the 18th over and RCB were pegged back.
He first got Mandeep Singh off his first delivery and followed it up with the big fish Virat Kohli. By doing that, he broke a partnership, which was taking RCB to well beyond 180. Two balls later, he snared Washington Sundar as well to make his weak figures stand out. He mixed up his bowling really well considering RCB batters were in flow. Both Mandeep and Kohli had got used to the pace of the wicket and were lining up the bowlers really well. But Hardik rolled his fingers over the ball to first deceive Mandeep, then hit the deck hard to caught Kohli by surprise and later, bowled a knuckleball to snare Washington Sunder. From 139/3 RCB slumped to 141/6.
Not just that, Hardik played his part in the field as well with a direct hit to send Brendon McCullum back and put an end to a 60-run stand with Virat Kohli. The stand had been instrumental for RCB to reach 167 in the end with a quickfire 23 off 10 balls by Colin de Grandhomme. Thanks to him RCB collected 24 off the last over to pose a challenge for MI.