Image Credit: BCCI/ Twitter

Team India defeated New Zealand by 65 runs in the second T20I courtesy of Suryakumar Yadav’s unbeaten 111-run knock and a determined effort from the bowlers.

After Wellington’s weather spoiled the first T20I before the toss could take place, India and New Zealand moved to Mount Maunganui in desperate need of a win. India’s powerplay approach was criticized prior to the game, but no progress was made in that area as the team only managed to reach 42 in six overs. Rishabh Pant’s opening experiment for India failed when he fell after a slow six off 13 balls. Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer, two other batters, once again failed to have an impact while Surya once more appeared dangerous from the very first ball he played.

The 32-year-old, SKY, who was moved up to number three, threw the bowlers off their game to easily boost India’s score. Suryakumar shredded the New Zealand attack at the Bay Oval, scoring his first 50 after just 32 balls and adding his second 50 after just 17 more. Tim Southee’s last-over hat trick, the fourth by a New Zealander and his second in T20 internationals, provided some solace for his team. In the third, fourth, and fifth balls of his over, Southee dismissed Hardik Pandya, Deepak Hooda, and Washington Sundar, leaving Suryakumar stranded at the non-striker’s end to keep India’s total under 200.

The dangerous Kiwi opener Finn Allen opted for an expansive shot and lost his wicket early in the inning, which dealt New Zealand, who were trying to chase a massive target, a huge setback. Although Devon Conway and captain Kane Williamson put up a 56-run stand, they were unable to produce enough big hits to keep up with the required run rate. While attempting the sweep against Washington Sundar, Conway was caught at deep backward square leg.

Williamson provided the support with 61 from 51 balls, but no one else was able to accelerate the score. New Zealand was all out for 126 after Deepa Hooda finished off the New Zealand innings with three wickets from four deliveries. Hooda also made history by becoming the first Indian to claim four wickets in a match against the Black Caps. After finishing with three wickets in 2021 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Axar Patel held the previous record for the greatest bowling figures by an Indian against the Kiwis in T20Is.

SKY has no limits

Suryakumar Yadav, also known as “SKY,” put on a show for Team India on Sunday by dismantling New Zealand’s elite bowling attack in their own backyard in the absence of India big-hitters Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and KL Rahul. The form of a consistent Suryakumar Yadav, who produced an innings full of breathtaking shots all over the field, did not change despite India’s attempts to resurrect their T20I blueprint.

Playing one of the best innings of his career, the top batter for India ended up smashing his second century in T20 Internationals. Despite Tim Southee taking a hat-trick in the last over, he was still unbeaten at 111 and his blitz was the only reason India managed to score a formidable 191/6 in 20 overs. In a masterful exhibition of both creative and traditional batting skills, the 32-year-old batsman struck seven sixes and 11 fours, further solidifying his position as the top T20 batsman in the world. He ensured that India took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series by breaking numerous records while scoring his second T20I tonne.

Kane Williamson will miss the third T20I

Now that the series is down to its last two games, New Zealand has a chance to end it in a draw. However, the home team will be without the assistance of their captain Kane Williamson in the final showdown. Tim Southee will captain the New Zealand team in his absence, and Mark Chapman has been called up. With a 65- run knock in the second T20I, Williamson was the standout performer for the Kiwis. However, he will skip Tuesday’s game in Napier against India to attend a scheduled medical appointment.