ANI Photo | Hardik Pandya makes return to competitive cricket, snaps two wickets during DY Patil T20 Cup 2024

Star India all-rounder Hardik Pandya made a triumphant return to competitive cricket on Monday for the first time since the ICC Cricket World Cup with a match-winning spell for Reliance 1 in the 18th edition of DY Patil T20 Cup 2024 at the DY Patil Stadium on Monday.
Having not played any international cricket following the World Cup stage match against Bangladesh back in October due to an ankle injury, Pandya led from the front as he picked up two wickets for 22 runs as Reliance 1 restricted BPCL to 126 in 18.3 overs after opting to field.
The other wicket-takers for Reliance were Dev Lakra (3-31) and Piyush Chawla (3-15). Anukul Roy was the top-scorer for BPCL with an unbeaten 30.
In their response, Reliance was well served by a 51 run opening stand between Naman Dhir and Nehal Wadhera (50: 32b, 11×4).
There was a middle-order collapse as Reliance slipped from 87 for one to 113 for eight. Pandya held himself back in the order and came into bat late in the order after the fall of the eighth wicket. Pandya (3* in four balls) and Chawla then teamed up to lead Reliance to a hard-fought two wicket win.
In the other game at the University Ground, Income Tax beat Bank of Baroda by 40 runs. The hero for Income Tax was Anuj Rawat (116*, 57 balls, 14×4, 6×6). Rawat shared crucial stands with several batters to lead the Tax to 238 for four in their 20 overs. For Bank of Baroda, their skipper Krishnappa Gowtham (2-47) was the most successful bowler.
In their response, Bank of Baroda lost wickets at regular intervals. They never got going and, in the end, fell 40 runs short of the target. For Income tax, the best bowlers were Ishan Porel (2-22) and Lalit Yadav (2-45).
Brief Scores:
Group A: BPCL 126 in 18.3 overs (Akhil Herwadkar 24, Anukul Roy 30*; Dev Lakra 3-31, Piyush Chawla 3-15, Hardik Pandya 2-22) lost to Reliance 1 128-8 in 15 overs (Nehal Wadhera 50, Naman Dhir 20, Piyush Chawla 16*; Aakash Mishra 5-17, Shreyas Gopal 2-37) by two wickets.
At University Ground
Group C: Income Tax 238-4 in 20 overs (Anuj Rawat 116 n.o., Pramod Chandila 35, Abhishek Das 31, Mahipal Lomror 27; Krishnappa Gowtham 2-47) bt Bank of Baroda 198-8 in 20 overs (Rohan Kadam 45, Akash Anand 45*.; Lalit Yadav 2-45, Ishan Porel 2-22)- by 40 runs.
Tuesday’s fixtures
11 am: At University Ground: Group A: Central Railway v Jain Irrigation; At DY Patil Stadium: Group D: Nirlon SC v Mumbai Customs
4 pm: At University Ground: Group B: RBI v Route Mobile; At DY Patil Stadium: Canada v Indian Oil. (ANI)

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