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Recent Match Report – India vs New Zealand 2nd T20I 2022/23

India 191 for 6 (Suryakumar 111*, Kishan 36, Southee 3-34) New Zealand 126 (Williamson 61, Hooda 4-10, Siraj 2-24) by 65 runs

Virat Kohli called it “another videogame innings” on Twitter, and rightly so: Suryakumar Yadav hit 111 unbeaten runs out of the team’s total of 191, crashing 11 of the 18 borders India reached along the way, and seven of their nine sixes , while facing only 51 balls. In a great display of creative and fearless T20 hitting that is typical of him, Suryakumar helped India plunder 72 from the last five overs. This was despite not conceding a single pitch in the final, where Tim Southee got a hat-trick.

Hardik Pandya just watched from the other side as Suryakumar played with an international bowling line-up he just made it look. And with 192 still to come, New Zealand’s chase just kept creeping from the start: their power play went just 32 runs with just three boundaries, setting arguably the perfect foundation for them to collide; and at 85 for 3 after 12 overs with Glenn Phillips gone, the required run rate of over 13 per over meant the match was all but decided.

Suryakumar defies logic, bowling and everything else
In what is proving to be a defining year for him – he is already the highest number one in T20Is in 2022 – Suryakumar’s second T20I century of the year was perhaps only different because it was a winning case.

Suryakumar took his trademark first for four over the wicket-keeper’s head, just the fourth ball, despite being beaten on two successive pitches before that. Typical T20 stuff: swing and miss, but don’t worry about the next ball.

Ishan Kishan continued to struggle after Rishabh Pant fell for a low score for which he had supplanted himself, but Suryakumar knew there was only one way to go, especially with rain in the sky. The rest of India’s at-bat scored 69 in as many pitches – there were also 11 extras in total – telling the story of how many miles Suryakumar was ahead of his teammates.

His first six came from Mitchell Santner, as he took a ball out wide, only to slog the sweep and deposit it over the fine leg. Then came the lofts about offside: Santner’s first ball from the 11th over was scythe-thrown behind the point, and Ish Sodhi’s first from the 12th was elbowed high to deep extra cover.

But Suryakumar had reserved special treatment for Lockie Ferguson: with eight overs to go and India’s total still under a hundred, he drove and whipped up the fast bowler for a four and a six respectively. That was Act 1 of Suryakumar vs Ferguson.

Suryakumar transferred his fifty from 32 balls upwards in the 16th, and when time ran out he got into Southee to start the 17th: a six swung over the line over midwicket and a whip to the same region for four albeit helped by a wrong field. Two balls later, he adapted to tee off to a short ball outside despite making room early.

Runs came from everywhere: inside-out lofts over cover and mid-off, and whips and flicks over fine leg. The platform for Act 2 of Suryakumar vs Ferguson was laid: 4, 0, 4, 4, 4, 6 in the 19th over. The third boundary brought out his hundred from 49 balls, but three other shots were breathtaking: the first four were cut over the short third after he opened the face very late, the fifth was tickled over the wicket-keeper despite its short length and the ball came close to his shoulder and the six was swung back over the short third as he opened the clubface to a length that seemed too full to even attempt.

New Zealand slack in big chase

Kane Williamson used up 52 balls to score 61. It also didn’t help that the new ball swung significantly for India in the power play, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar deflecting Finn Allen’s second ball.

New Zealand’s required pace had raced past 11 after the first six overs, then came the one stage where they appeared to be attacking. Williamson and Devon Conway picked 17 from Washington Sundar’s first over, before he hit back by deflecting Conway’s first pitch off the ninth for a tame 25 off 22 pitches.

Glenn Phillips crushed his first ball for four and even threw a six from Yuzvendra Chahal to indicate early aggressive intent, but fell for 12 from six balls when Chahal teased him by slowing the pace on the ball in the tenth over.

No line was hit between Williamson, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham and Mitchell Santner for 33 balls after Phillips’ six, by which time New Zealand’s fate was all but sealed. They were 111 for 6 after 17 overs, after which Williamson reached his fiftieth off his 48th delivery.

With the result clear, Deepak Hooda came in to bowl the penultimate over, sending Sodhi, Southee and Adam Milne off in the space of four deliveries to complete a timid day for the hosts.

Himanshu Agrawal is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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