Baroda's talented all-rounder Hardik Pandya has further pushed his case for selection in India's playing XI for forthcoming T20 series against Australia, after the right-hander smashed 39 runs in single over during a Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy game against Delhi on Sunday.
Pandya went hammer and tongs after coming out to bat in the crucial No. 3 position. Pandya scored an unbeaten 81 runs from just 51 balls.
Baroda, batting first, were struggled for much of the innings against Delhi. Losing wickets at regular intervals, Baroda were 60/6 after the first 12 overs. Thanks to Pandya, Baroda ended up scoring 60 runs in the last two overs of the first innings to reach a total of 153.
Pandya targeted Delhi medium pacer Akash Sudan, whose figures were 3-0-8-2 going into the 19th over, where he gave away a record-breaking 39 runs. Pandya slammed five sixes and two boundaries in that over, owing to an extra ball being bowled because of a no-ball. The previous record was set by New Zealand's former all-rounder Scott Styris, who scored 38 runs in an over.
Later, when Baroda was trying to defend their total of 153 runs, Pandya came in handy with the ball as well. He picked up three wickets in his spell of four overs, giving away just 13 runs. An economy rate of 3.25 is considered to be outstanding in the shortest format of the game. However, the all-round effort from Pandya was not good enough to win Baroda the match against Delhi.
"We were 60 for 6 after 12 overs. Then our score was 93 after 18 overs. I had to target him [Sudan]. I was not expecting to get nearly 40 runs," Pandya was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
"My expectation was to get a couple of sixes. I just went with the flow.I guess it is a record in domestic T20."
Pandya showed similar skills during the IPL while playing for the Mumbai Indians last season. He has also been in good form in domestic cricket, and that might just push India skipper MS Dhoni to pick him in the XI against Australia later this month.
To check the scoreboard of the Baroda vs Delhi match, click HERE.