India defeated England by 50 runs in the opening T20 International on Thursday in Southampton, and Hardik Pandya was the player of the match after an outstanding all-around performance.
After deciding to bat first, the swashbuckling all-rounder led India’s aggressive batting display with a scorching 33-ball 51 that helped the visitors reach 198/8.
England was dismissed for 148 runs in 19.3 overs thanks to the pace bowler’s 4/33 figures. In a T20I match, he became just the fourth player from full member nations to score fifty runs and take four wickets.
This was Pandya’s first fifty in a T20 International, and he contributed to India scoring quickly in the middle overs after outstanding innings from Rohit Sharma (24 off 14 balls), Deepak Hooda (33 off 17), and Suryakumar Yadav (39 off 19).
India, which was defending 199, got off to a great start when Bhuvneshwar Kumar, after testing Jason Roy with four outswingers, dismissed captain Jos Buttler with a gorgeous inswinger in the opening over.
Pandya followed up his impressive performance with the bat by delivering with the ball in his very first over, taking out Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone to leave England in shambles at 29/3 in the fifth over.
When Pandya got the opener caught at third man following a thick edge, he ended Roy’s laborious stint in the middle. By dismissing Sam Curran, he put an exclamation point on a spectacular performance.
With an explosive 33-ball 51 earlier, Pandya led India’s aggressive batting effort and helped the team reach a difficult 198/8 in 20 overs.
Rohit got India off to a fast start as he looked to make up for missing the fifth Test against England due to COVID-19.