Suryakumar Yadav and spinners hand India crushing win over NZ in second T20

Star batsman scores unbeaten century before slow bowlers secure 65-run win on Sunday

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India put their disappointing T20 World Cup campaign behind them with a commanding victory over New Zealand in the second T20 at Mount Maunganui on Sunday.

In-form batsman Suryakumar Yadav struck an imperious century as India posted 191-6 before their spinners tied down the Kiwi batsmen to dismiss them for 126 and complete a 65-run win.

The team in blue, captained by Hardik Pandya in the absence of Rohit Sharma, were looking to make a statement after their lacklustre campaign during the recent World Cup in Australia where they were embarrassed by England in the semi-final, falling to a 10-wicket defeat.

World No 1 T20 batsman Yadav made shot-making look easy on a sticky pitch, smashing an unbeaten 111 off 51 balls.

The 32-year-old struck 11 fours and cleared the Bay Oval ropes seven times as he compiled his second century in the format, having posted 117 against England at Nottingham four months ago.

He has become the first Indian to score 1,000 T20 runs in a calendar year, improving his career strike rate to an extraordinary 181.64 in the process. This was his seventh score over 50 in 11 innings, helping India recover from a modest start after being sent in to bat in damp conditions.

Opener Ishan Kishan provided the next-highest Indian score with 36 off 31. However, it was a familiar tale for the rest of the line-up as batsmen like Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Pandya failed to get going.

Suryakumar ensured the run rate accelerated as the innings progressed and the last two overs provided the most action of the innings. Lockie Ferguson conceded 22 in the penultimate over, all from the bat of Suryakumar, who reached his ton in the process.

Seamer Tim Southee struck back in the final over with his second career hat-trick, dismissing Pandya before removing Deepak Hooda and Washington Sundar for golden ducks.

In reply, India's bowlers dominated from the start, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar removing Finn Allen second ball. Captain Kane Williamson top-scored with 61 off 52 but his struggle for timing was mirrored by his teammates against an Indian attack boasting variety and discipline.

Part-time Spinner Hooda took 4-10 off 2.5 overs, claiming the last three scalps in the space of four balls. Before him, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal weaved his magic, picking up 2-26 from four overs.

The opening fixture of the three-match series in Wellington on Friday was abandoned without a ball being bowled because of wet weather.

Updated: November 20, 2022, 11:13 AM
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