Suryakumar and Ashwin brilliant as India beats New Zealand in a thriller

By Kersi Meher-Homji

In the end it was touch and go for both teams. Any result was possible in the final over. But India won by 5 wickets with only two balls remaining. This thriller ended India’s seven match losing streak across all formats to New Zealand.

The first international match in India after a long time was staged in Jaipur with the Indian flags fluttering everywhere. Sent in to bat, New Zealand started off promisingly when they were 1 for 110 off 80 balls, Martin Guptill (70 runs) and Mark Chapman (63) adding 109 runs for the second wicket.

Then Ravichandran Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar took vital wickets and NZ scored 6 for 164 in 20 overs.

India was on the winning tract as skipper Rohit Sharma (48 runs with 5 fours and 2 sixes) and Suryakumar Yadav (62 runs with 6 fours and 3 sixes) added 59 quick runs for the second wicket. Then wickets fell cheaply and came the final over with India needing nine runs to win. Another wicket was down and India now needed three runs off the last three balls.

Cool as a cucumber Rishabh Pant hit a four and India won to take a 1-0 lead in the three match series. Suryakumar was adjudged the Player of the Match.

An ecstatic Suryakumar said at the presentation, “I’ve been doing nothing different, I try to bat the same way in the nets and replicate the same in the game. I put a lot of pressure on myself in the nets, if I get out I go into the dressing room and think what better I could have done. The ball was coming on nicely to the bat, came on a bit slow later, but happy to be on the winning side.”

On being dropped by Boult he added with a smile, “It’s my wife’s birthday, a perfect gift from him [Boult to me].”

How romantic!

The second T20 International between India and New Zealand starts at Ranchi tomorrow.

Short URL: