MOUNT MAUNGANUI, New Zealand (AP) — Breakout star Suryakumar Yadav blasted his second Twenty20 century from 49 balls Sunday to propel India to a 65-run win over New Zealand in the second T20 international and take a 1-0 lead in the three match series.
Suryakumar finished 111 not out as India made 191-6 batting first in damp conditions. He hit seven sixes and 11 fours in a brilliant display of improvisational and conventional ball-striking that underlined his ranking as the world’s best T20 batsman.
Suryakumar reached his half century from 32 balls, then added his second 50 from only 17 deliveries as he took apart the New Zealand attack at the Bay Oval.
New Zealand gained some consolation when Tim Southee claimed a last-over hat-trick, his second in T20 internationals and the fourth by a New Zealander. Southee dismissed Hardik Pandya, Deepak Hooda and Washington Sundar with the third, fourth and fifth balls of the last over to leave Suryakumar stranded at the non-striker’s end and to hold India under 200.
“I think the plan was very clear when I went in to bat, that I had to bat to the end to get to a par score of 170 or 175,” Suryakumar said. “I feel in this format you have to have good intent when you go in to bat, regardless of the situation.”
Suryakumar came to the crease with the total at 36-1 in the sixth over after Rishabh Pant was out for 6. He first joined Ishan Kishan (36) in a brief partnership of 33 for the second wicket.
From then on he dominated the innings with only token assistance from Shreyas Iyer and Pandya who both made 13.
There seemed no limit to his strokeplay, which was mostly conventional, though he added a few scoops over the head of the wicketkeeper or behind third man later in his innings. His best shots were those that he struck with pitiless power through cover or down the ground.
As an example of his range, he went from 89 to 93 with a scooped four over short third man, 93 to 97 with a slashed boundary behind point and then 97 to 101 with a blast through cover. He took 22 runs — four fours and a six — from the 19th over bowled by tearaway Lockie Ferguson. The six was extraordinary, driven with a straight bat over point.
New Zealand’s bowling lacked discipline and purpose at times, but that was largely caused by Suryakumar who left the attack with no idea where it was safe to bowl.
“It was not our best effort,” New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said. “Having said that, Suryakumar was out of this world, one of the best knocks I’ve ever seen and some of those shots I’ve never seen.”
New Zealand’s chase suffered an early setback when hard-hitting opener Finn Allen was out to only the second ball of the innings. It never really recovered.
Williamson and Devon Conway put on 56 for the second wicket in a partnership that spanned eight overs. After Conway was out for 25, New Zealand looked to Glenn Phillips to lift its scoring but he was deceived by a slower ball from Yuzvendra Chahal and bowled for 12.
New Zealand was 71-3 after 10 overs, not too far behind India who had been 75-2. But it lacked a player like Suryakumar to take the match by the scruff of the neck. Williamson played the anchor with 61 from 51 balls but there was no one who could lift the pace of the scoring.
Deepa Hooda wrapped up the New Zealand innings with three wickets from four balls, including Southee’s, as New Zealand was all out for 126.
The first match of the series was washed out and the third will be played on Tuesday in Napier.
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