Dishing out a clinical performance in the 2nd T20I of the three-match series, Hardik Pandya-led Team India hammered Kane Williamson’s New Zealand at Mount Maunganui’s Bay Oval on Sunday. Riding on Suryakumar Yadav‘s sensational century, Virat Kohli-less Team India registered a comfortable win over the Black Caps in the penultimate clash of the series. Premier batter Suryakumar also eclipsed Kohli to achieve a spectacular record in the 2nd T20I at Bay Oval.
Leading the batting attack of the Men In Blue, middle-order batter Suryakumar batted at the No.3 position in the absence of ace cricketer Kohli, skipper Rohit and vice-captain KL Rahul. The in-form batter slammed his 2nd T20I century as India posted a challenging total of 191-6 in 20 overs. Suryakumar remained unbeaten on 111 off 51 balls and the star batter was named the Player of the Match for his batting masterclass.
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Interestingly, Suryakumar has been adjudged the Player of the Match on seven occasions in the shortest format. No Indian player has won more Player of the Match honours than Suryakumar. On Sunday, the in-form batter surpassed Kohli to match Sikandar Raja’s feat of most Player of the Match awards (7) in T20I cricket. Former Indian skipper Kohli and Uganda’s Dinesh Nakrani have been awarded the special honour on 6 occasions in T20Is.
Scoring the match-winning century in the 2nd T20I on Sunday, Suryakumar also matched Rohit Sharma’s feat of notching up two centuries in the shortest format in the same year. In 2018, Rohit became the first Indian batter to achieve this special feat in T20Is.
“The plan was clear when I went into bat. At the 12th/13th over, we thought about batting deep and getting around 170-175 was a par score. Secret (behind his freak shots) is about the intent and you need to enjoy yourself. It’s also about the work you do in the practice sessions. It’s a great feeling coming here, having a full game and going 1-0 in the series feels good. I feel that I didn’t think too much about what was happening. Just had my gameplan and it worked well. Fantastic crowd here,” Suryakumar said after the match.
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