Suryakumar Yadav produced another T20 batting masterclass on way to a sensational 111 not out off 51 balls, firing India to 191 for six in the second game against New Zealand here on Sunday.
Surya toyed with the bowlers to lift India to a challenging total after New Zealand put the visitors in to bat. Rain stopped play at the Bay Oval for 26 minutes but no overs were lost. While Surya was once again in a league of his own, other batters who showed intent but could not go on were opener Ishan Kishan (36 off 31) and number four Shreyas Iyer (13 of 9).
The experiment to open with Rishabh Pant did not work as he fell after a sluggish six off 13 balls. India’s powerplay approach was in focus before the game but not much was delivered on that front, with the team reaching 42 for one in six overs.
Surya came at number three in Virat Kohli’s absence and smashed boundaries and sixes at will, his last 64 runs coming off just 18 balls.
It might not look simple to the naked eye but in his own words, Surya kept it ”simple” and executed his amazing range of strokes as per the field placements.
If the spinners pitched it full on off stump, he was happy to play the inside out shot over cover and when the faster bowlers targeted his stumps on good length, he helped the ball sail past fine leg for a bunch of sixes. In total, Surya collected 11 fours and seven sixes.
He brought up his second century off 49 balls with an aerial drive that went wide of sweeper cover. Surya went berserk in the penultimate over bowled by Lockie Ferguson, hammering four boundaries and a phenomenal six over deep point. The fast bowler had clearly run out of ideas with Surya on song.
The last five overs yielded 72 runs. Tim Southee bowled a brilliant 20th over and stemmed the free flow of runs by taking a hat-trick. He dismissed Washington Sundar, Deepak Hooda and Hardik Pandya on the trot.