Hardik Pandya-led India herald new era of T20I cricket with help of Surya's marvelous 111, beat Kiwis by 65 runs
Suryakumar Yadav's record-breaking T20I century followed by a clinical bowling performance helped Hardik Pandya-led India take a 1-0 lead in a three-T20I series. Skipper Kane Williamson staying till the 18th over did not help the hosts as they were out of the game even before the slog overs started. India registered a comprehensive 65-run victory after rain washed out the first T20I of the series on November 20.
Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant opened the innings for India after Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bowl first. As Shubman Gill warmed the benches, Pant failed as an opener and scored just six runs from 13 deliveries as he got dismissed by Lockie Ferguson in the sixth over. Kishan did the heavy lifting in the powerplay overs as India had 42/1 on the board. Kishan could not capitalise on a good start and got out after a 31-ball 36. Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi got the wicket of the southpaw.
Suryakumar started off well and accelerated in the middle overs. Shreyas Iyer looked in good form as well but got out hit wicket in the 13th over after scoring 13 runs. Suryakumar reached his half-century from 32 deliveries in the 16th over. In the slog overs, he toyed with the bowlers and captain as they struggled with their lines and field placement.
The 32-year-old went on a rampage in the slog overs and had Williamson scratching his head with his unbelievable and unorthodox strokeplay. He used pace and used his creativity when there was lack of it. 22 runs were hit in the penultimate over as Surya reached his second T20I century in the calendar year and joined the list of batters.
It was an anti-climax in the final over. Surya did not get to play a single delivery. Pandya ran a couple of twos and then got out trying to clear long-off. Deepak Hooda came in to bat and flicked it straight to short fine-leg fielder Ferguson. Washington Sundar took the aerial route on the hat-trick ball as well and got out for a golden duck. Southee took his second hat-trick in T20Is. He conceded just five runs in the last over and kept Surya at non-striker's end to witness the chaos in front of him.
In the run chase of 192, New Zealand lost their opener Finn Allen for a two-ball duck to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The Kiwi top-order batters struggled in the powerplay overs and managed just 32 runs on the board. Devon Conway succumbed to the pressure as required run rate climbed. Conway (25) became Sundar's victim in the ninth over.
In the next over, Glenn Phillips announced himself with a six off Yuzvendra Chahal. The leg-spinner showed his class with the wicket of Phillips (12). The wicketkeeper-batter was deceived by the flight and got bowled. Boundaries dried up after Phillips' wicket. Pandya used Deepak Hooda's services in the middle overs. The off-spinner got the better of Daryl Mitchell (10). Chahal struck again to dismiss James Neesham for a three-ball duck. The boundary drought finally ended in the 15th over as Williamson found the gap.
Mohammed Siraj joined the party as well and got the much-deserved wicket of Mitchell Santner (2). With scoreboard reading 99/6 after 16 overs, New Zealand were already out of the game. Williamson got to his half-century with a six in the 18th over. But Siraj had the last laugh as Williamson got bowled. The skipper scored 61 runs from 52 deliveries including four fours and two sixes. The penultimate over was given to Hooda and he did not disappoint with the wickets of Sodhi (1), Southee (0) and Adam Milne (6) to wrap up the innings. New Zealand got all out for 126 with seven balls left in the innings.