T20 World Cup: Suryakumar Yadav top-scores with 53 as India post 181/8 against Afghanistan

Bridgetown, Jun 20 (IANS): Top-ranked batter Suryakumar Yadav combined attacking shots with immaculate timing to make an impressive 53 off 28 balls as India posted a competitive 181/8 in 20 overs against Afghanistan in the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup Super Eight match at the Kensington Oval here on Thursday.

With the pitch being damp and slow, Suryakumar hit five fours and three sixes at a strike rate of 189 and was mighty effective with his sweep shots to put Afghanistan under pressure.

His 60-run stand with Hardik Pandya (32) and a late cameo of 12 from Axar Patel helped India raise the tempo as 56 runs came in the last five overs. Captain Rashid Khan and left-arm pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi took three wickets each for Afghanistan.

With the ball holding onto the pitch, it meant the deliveries weren’t coming nicely on to the bat. Rohit Sharma was kept quiet by Farooqi despite getting a streaky four off him. He also survived an lbw appeal off Farooqi on review, as replays showed that the ball had pitched outside leg-stump.

Farooqi struck in the third over when Rohit tried to take on his off-cutter holding off the pitch, but miscued off the toe-end to mid-on. Rishabh Pant took the attack to Afghanistan by stylishly flicking Farooqi for four, followed by reverse-sweeping, slog-sweeping (dropped by Naveen-ul-Haq on 11) and driving through cover to take three fours off Mohammed Nabi in the final over of Power-play, which yielded 13 runs.

But in an attempt to reverse-sweep against Rashid, Pant, he was beaten by the leg-break delivery and was trapped plumb lbw, with the review showing it would have hit the stumps. Rashid struck again in his next over by having Virat Kohli loft straight to long-off.

Suryakumar kept India going with his variety of sweeps fetching him three boundaries, even as Rashid trapped Shivam Dube lbw with a quicker leg-break which went past his attempted jab, with the review showing it hit flap of pad first in front of off-stump.

Suryakumar left everyone in awe by moving across and whipping a low full toss from Azmatullah Omarzai for four, followed by driving him through mid-off for another boundary. With Pandya timing his drives for boundaries, Suryakumar proceeded to smack a drive from Omarzai down the ground for six.

Pandya tore into Noor Ahmad by going inside-out beautifully over extra cover for four, followed by smashing a six straight down the ground. Suryakumar smacked Farooqi high over long-on for six and flicked a four through mid-wicket to get his fifty in 27 balls before the batter holed out to long-off.

Pandya smacked Naveen for a 98-m six clubbed over the terrace of the stadium, before holing out to deep point off the pacer. India’s plans for a big finish were given another big dent when Ravindra Jadeja uppercut to short third man and become Farooqi’s third scalp. Axar picked his gaps well to take two boundaries off Naveen and take India past 180.

Brief scores:

India 181/8 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 53, Hardik Pandya 32; Rashid Khan 3-26, Fazalhaq Farooqi 3-33) against Afghanistan



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Title: T20 World Cup: Suryakumar Yadav top-scores with 53 as India post 181/8 against Afghanistan

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