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2nd T20I: Suryakumar Century Helps India Sail to 65-Run Victory Over New Zealand

Suryakumar smashed an unbeaten 49-ball century to propel India to a challenging 191/6 against New Zealand.

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Cricket
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2nd T20I: Suryakumar Century Helps India Sail to 65-Run Victory Over New Zealand
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All-rounder Deepak Hooda took four wickets, including three in the final over, while Yuzvendra Chahal and Mohammed Siraj starred with two wickets each as India beat New Zealand by 65 runs to win the second T20I at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Sunday.

After Suryakumar Yadav, the top-ranked T20I batter, hit 11 fours and seven sixes all over the park at a strike-rate of 217.65 to be unbeaten on 111 off 51 balls, his second T20I century and propel India to a challenging 191/6, New Zealand just never got going with the chase and were bowled out for 126 in 18.5 overs.

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India struck on just the second ball of defending 191 as Bhuvneshwar Kumar enticed Finn Allen to go for a drive and edge flew to running third man. Devon Conway and Kane Williamson hit six boundaries, including taking 17 runs off Washington Sundar's first over of the match.

But India bounced back as Conway mistimed a sweep to deep backward square leg off Sundar in the ninth over. Glenn Phillips hammered a four and six, but was clean bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal while going for a slog-sweep.

The scoreboard pressure then led to Daryl Mitchell and James Neesham holing out to long-on in quick succession. Williamson held one end but was in a painful struggle at the crease, unable to get the big hits and forced to go slow against the spinners.

As Mohammed Siraj caught a leading edge from Mitchell Santner's bat in his follow-through, the result was a foregone conclusion. Though Williamson got his fifty with a pulled six over deep backward square leg and then punched beautifully between mid-off and extra cover for four more off Siraj, it was too little too late for New Zealand.

Williamson's scratchy stay came to an end when an under-edge on a swipe across the line crashed into the stumps off Siraj in the 18th over. Deepak Hooda took the last three wickets in four balls to get a convincing win for India.

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Earlier, Suryakumar Yadav put out yet another 360-degree astonishing masterclass in T20I batting with an unbeaten 49-ball century to propel India to a challenging 191/6.

On a sluggish pitch where almost all Indian batters found it tough to time the ball, Suryakumar, the top-ranked T20I batter, hit 11 fours and seven sixes all over the park at a strike-rate of 217.65 to be unbeaten on 111 off 51 balls, his second T20I century.

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For New Zealand, veteran pacer Tim Southee took his second T20I hat-trick to pick 3/34 in his four overs. Southee's hat-trick, on a day New Zealand's bowlers leaked runs aplenty, was pivotal in restricting India to below 200.

India began the innings with Rishabh Pant whipping strongly past mid-on off Tim Southee in the opening over. But it was his fellow left-hander Ishan Kishan who was more fluent in his stroke-play.

He began by dabbing Southee late through third man for four, flicking Lockie Ferguson over deep square-leg for six and then placed a drive off an inconsistent Adam Milne between extra cover and mid-off.

In a bid to break the shackles, Pant tried to pull a short, outside the off-stump ball from Ferguson in the final over of power-play. But the ball took a top-edge and was caught easily by Southee running backwards from short third man.

Suryakumar Yadav got going with a scooped four clearing the keeper while Kishan welcomed James Neesham with back-to-back fours on both sides of the wicket, before rain stopped play for 26 minutes.

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Post resumption, Kishan successfully overturned an lbw call off Ish Sodhi and drilled a drive down the ground for four in the same over. After Suryakumar swept Mitchell Santner for six over deep backward square leg, Sodhi ended Kishan's stay on the very next ball as the left-hander cut straight to short third man.

Shreyas Iyer sparkled in lofting Sodhi on both sides of the 'v' for four and six. But in a bid to flick off Ferguson, his backfoot disturbed the stumps and was out hit-wicket. But Suryakumar marched forward in his trademark style, carving delightful drives, especially going inside-out twice over extra cover off Sodhi for a brace of fours.

He then used pace from Ferguson to whip off his hips over fine leg for six, leaving everyone in awe of the shot. After reaching his fifty in 32 balls, Suryakumar again delighted the crowd by dancing down the pitch for a crisp lofted six over deep extra cover off Santner.

He then brought out his supple wrists to flick Southee for six and four in the first two balls of 17th over, before hitting Milne for a brace of sixes on slower balls over long-off and fine leg. Suryakumar tore into Ferguson in the 19th over, opening the face of the bat late to carve over third man for four.

He then hit the tearaway pacer for three fours and a six in the 19th over, second of which got him a 49-ball century with a beautiful drive through extra cover. Southee took a hat-trick in the final over by dismissing Hardik Pandya, Deepak Hooda and Washington Sundar on consecutive deliveries as Suryakumar ended up at 111 not out.

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