Suryakumar Yadav century lights up Bay Oval as India beat Black Caps in second T20

Indian batter Suryakumar Yadav made a stunning century as they beat the Black Caps at Bay Oval.

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Indian batter Suryakumar Yadav made a stunning century as they beat the Black Caps at Bay Oval.

At Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui: India 191-6 (Suryakumar Yadav 111no off 51; Tim Southee 3-34) beat the Black Caps 126 all out in 18.5 overs (Kane Williamson 61 off 52; Deepak Hooda 4-10) by 65 runs

The best Twenty20 batter in the world hit the Black Caps to every part of Bay Oval on Sunday night, after thunderstorms cleared in the Bay of Plenty and allowed their series against India to get underway following Friday’s washout in Wellington.

Suryakumar Yadav made 111 off 51 balls in a jaw-dropping display batting at No 3 as India posted 191-6 from their 20 overs – a total New Zealand didn’t come close to chasing down, with their No 3, captain Kane Williamson, making a painful 61 off 52 in response.

Suryakumar made excellent use of his feet to drive spinners Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner, but was also up to the challenge of facing speedsters Adam Milne and Lockie Ferguson, playing a leading role as their final overs went for 17 and 22 runs respectively.

NZ CRICKET

Black Caps batter Finn Allen spoke about his day in Mount Maunganui on Sunday.

With five overs to go, India were 119-3, after an excellent third over by Milne, but they scored 72 runs off the final 30 balls, even though the final over, bowled by Tim Southee, featured a consolation hat-trick and only went for five.

The pick of Suryakumar’s sixes was a lofted cover drive off Santner, just after he brought up his half-century, off 32 balls, but his flick to fine leg off Milne and drive over backward point off Ferguson, were also incredible shots.

He didn’t quite post his highest T20 score – that remains the 117 off 55 balls he made against England earlier this year – but in bringing up his century off just 49 balls, he registered the fifth-fastest T20 international ton on New Zealand soil .

South Africa’s Richard Levi remains the record-holder, for his 45-ball effort at Seddon Park in Hamilton in 2012, with Black Caps Glenn Phillips (46 balls) and Colin Munro (47) and England’s Dawid Malan (48) also ahead of Suryakumar .

The Black Caps’ chase got off to a disastrous start when Finn Allen was caught at third for a two-ball duck and at the end of the six-over power play they were 32-1, needing almost two runs a ball across the remaining 14 overs.

At the halfway stage, they had also lost Devon Conway (25 off 22) and Phillips (12 off six) and when Daryl Mitchell fell for 10 off 11, the equation was 104 off 43, with Williamson plodding along at a run-a- ball in what might turn out to be one of his last T20 international innings.

The asking rate rose above three runs per ball as Jimmy Neesham (a three-ball duck) and Mitchell Santner (two off seven) departed, then above four runs per ball as Williamson brought up his half-century, off 48 balls.

He eventually departed when he played a full toss into his stumps off the bowling of Mohammed Siraj in the 18th over and the Black Caps were all out for 126 shortly afterwards, with midnight fast approaching in Mount Maunganui.

The big moment

Suryakumar hit seven sixes in total and they were all big moments, but his first was a warning shot if there ever was one – a sweep over the square leg boundary off a Santner ball that pitched outside off-stump at the end of the ninth over . His hits only got more outrageous from there.

Best with the bat

Suryakumar. It’s been easy to look at this series and wonder why it’s being played, less than two weeks after these two teams exited the T20 World Cup in Australia with semifinal losses. Getting to witness one of the great T20 innings has made it worth everyone’s time.

Best with the ball

Once you have runs on the board, a perfect start with the ball can swing the match heavily in your direction and Bhuvneshwar Kumar did just that, striking with his second delivery to remove Allen while conceding just three runs from his first two overs.

The big picture

Can the Black Caps rally to win the third T20 in Napier on Tuesday and leave this series tied at 1-1? There shouldn’t be any weather uncertainty this time around, as the Hawke’s Bay forecast is for sun and a high of 29c. Figuring out how to stop Suryakumar might cause some headaches, however.

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