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Hardik on Titans' loss: We lost because I could not get my rhythm

Titans captain takes "full ownership" for not closing the game out, and feels "sorry" for Shami

Captain Hardik Pandya has taken "full ownership" for Gujarat Titans' last-over loss against Delhi Capitals in Ahmedabad as the hosts fell short by just five runs while he remained unbeaten on 59 off 53.
Chasing 131, Titans needed 33 off the last 12 balls and then 12 off six, thanks to Rahul Tewatia, who hit three sixes off Anrich Nortje in the penultimate over. But when Hardik got strike in the last over against Ishant Sharma, he managed only a double and a single before Tewatia fell on the fourth ball, and Ishant brought it down to seven needed off the last ball before giving Capitals their third win.
"I tried my best but could not capitalise. It boils down to me," Hardik said. "Obviously, we would have taken 129 [131-run target] on any given day. [We] just lost a couple of wickets and at the end, Rahul got us back in the game."
Hardik struck seven fours in his knock but not a single six, and no boundaries in his last 13 balls when the asking rate kept shooting up.
Titans had lost three wickets inside the powerplay and soon lost David Miller too in the seventh over to be 32 for 4. Despite not being explosive, Titans were steady thanks to a 62-run partnership between Hardik and Abhinav Manohar. However, the pair consumed 63 balls in the process with Manohar falling for 26 off 33.
Hardik said that Manohar's inexperience showed and once again asserted that it was his own inability to close the game that cost them.
"We were hoping to get a couple of big overs in the middle but at that point of time we could not get rhythm," he said. "It was new for Abhinav as well. It boils down to how I was not able to finish the game. Full marks to their bowlers as well and full ownership on my side where I could not finish the game I should've."
Hardik also said that the pressure on them was due to the early loss of wickets and that made it difficult for them to keep going with intent.
"It was more about the pressure of [losing] wickets," he said. "I don't think the [track] played much role. It was a tad slower than what we are used to here. But they bowled really well. We lost a couple of early wickets and then we had to take some time. We could not get the rhythm in the middle. Rahul brought us back into the game. Otherwise, they were quite ahead.
"Intent had to be there. It's just that we lost a couple of wickets where if you keep losing wickets, it's difficult to keep the intent as well. We lost because I could not get my rhythm and we kept losing wickets at the start and that put us under pressure. We like to take it deep and hope to get a couple of big overs which we could not get."
Titans had restricted Capitals to a mere 130 for 8, led largely by a four-wicket haul from Mohammed Shami. The fast bowler picked up all four of those inside the powerplay to return with second-best figures in the phase in the IPL. Hardik felt sorry for Shami, who was adjudged Player of the Match, and said the batters couldn't back the bowlers on the night.
"I feel sorry for [Shami]," Hardik said. "If you bowl like that, then you restrict the team to 129 [130], I think [our] batters disappointed. I don't think the ball did a lot. It's just that Mohammed Shami's skillset he has and he made the ball talk. Otherwise, I think for fast bowlers, the wicket did not have much assistance. But the way he bowled four on the trot and got us in the game, full credit [to him].
"As I said, batters and particularly myself did not finish and we disappointed him."