Hardik Pandya, IPL 2018, Mumbai Indians
Hardik Pandya AFP

Not long ago, Hardik Pandya’s talent were spoken in same breath as Kapil Dev. The Baroda all-rounder impressed all with his fighting 93 at Cape Town but ever since that he has been a pale shadow of his reputation. Hardik, playing for Mumbai Indians (MI), has not been consistent in the ongoing IPL 2018 and that has hurt the defending champions.

However, on Tuesday, at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Hardik put up a lone fight for Mumbai Indians in the Match 31 of VIVO IPL 2018. It did not start well for Hardik, who gave away 20 runs in his first over. He later came back and bowled a 6-run over and followed that with a 2-run over, which was the 18th over of the innings, sending back Mandeep Singh, Virat Kohli and Washington Sundar.

IPL 2018: Shane Bond believes MI can win 6 matches on a trot
IPL 2018: Shane Bond believes MI can win 6 matches on a trot

Earlier, Hardik had affected a brilliant run out to dismiss the well set Brendon McCullum. Hardik was not finished. Chasing 154, he walked in to bat at 47 for 4 in the eighth over of MI’s innings. He fell in the last over for a 42-ball 50 as MI failed to cross the line and succumbed to their sixth defeat this season.

Hardik became the second cricketer after Yuvraj Singh to score a fifty and bag 3 or more wickets in an IPL match, and still feature in the losing side. In fact, Yuvraj has done it thrice.

Fifty and 3-wicket haul for losing sides in IPL:

Player Performance Against
Yuvraj Singh (KXIP) 50 & 3-22 RCB, 2009
Yuvraj Singh (PWI) 66* & 4-29 DD, 2011
Yuvraj Singh (RCB) 83 & 4-35 RR, 2014
Hardik Pandya (MI) 50 & 3-28 RCB, 2018

Mumbai, with 6 defeats this season, are at the seventh spot in the IPL Points Table with 4 points from 8 matches. To keep their playoff chances alive, the defending champions will have to win all their 6 matches. They will face Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) next at Indore on Saturday, which means Hardik’s next encounter will be against the man whose club he joined Yuvraj.