Cassian Baliarsingh

India’s stylish batsman Suryakumar Yadav’s 111 (51) masterclass in T20I propelled India to a challenging 191/6 against New Zealand in the second T20I at Mount Maunganui on Sunday.

While other Indian batters found it tough on the sluggish pitch, the Mr. 360 degree slammed 11 fours and 7 sixes all over the park at a strike-rate of 217.65 to be unbeaten on 111 off 51 balls, his second T20I century.

India began the innings with Rishabh Pant and left-hander Ishan Kishan. In the final overs of power-play, Pant tried to pull a short, outside the off-stump ball from Ferguson but the ball took a top-edge and was caught easily by Southee running backwards from short third man.

Later, Kishan was joined by Suryakumar Yadav who got going with a scooped four, before rain stopped play for 26 minutes. 

Post resumption, Suryakumar swept Mitchell Santner for six over deep backward square leg. However, on the very next ball, Sodhi ended Kishan's stay as the left-hander cut straight to short third man.

Soon after, Shreyas Iyer tried to flick off Ferguson, but his backfoot disturbed the stumps and was out hit-wicket. But Suryakumar marched forward in his trademark style, carving delightful drives, especially going inside-out twice over extra cover off Sodhi for a brace of fours.

He then used pace from Ferguson to whip off his hips over fine leg for six, leaving everyone in awe of the shot. 

After reaching his fifty in 32 balls, Suryakumar again delighted the crowd by dancing down the pitch for a crisp lofted six over deep extra cover off Santner.

He then brought out his supple wrists to flick Southee for six and four in the first two balls of 17th over, before hitting Milne for a brace of sixes on slower balls over long-off and fine leg.

Suryakumar tore into Ferguson in the 19th over, opening the face of the bat late to carve over third man for four.
He then hit the tearaway pacer for three fours and a six in the 19th over and it got him a 49-ball century with a beautiful drive through extra cover.

For New Zealand, veteran pacer Southee took a hat-trick in the final by dismissing Hardik Pandya, Deepak Hooda and Washington Sundar on consecutive deliveries as Suryakumar ended up at 111 not out.

Brief Scores: India 191/6 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 111 not out, Ishan Kishan 36; Tim Southee 3/34, Lockie Ferguson 2/49) against New Zealand.


(With input from IANS)