Suryakumar’s ferocious hitting enables India to beat West Indies comfortably

By Kersi Meher-Homji

Both India’s women’s and men’s teams are engaged in crucial games.

At the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham tonight Indian women have to beat Barbados women to qualify for the semi-final. The Indian women lost narrowly to Australia last week but came back with gusto to beat Pakistan women.

Now to the Indian men’s comfortable victory over West Indies men at Basseterre in West Indies in a Twenty20 international yesterday.

Sent in to bat on a bouncy pitch, the Windies scored 5 for 164, opening batter Kylie Myers smacking 73 runs with 8 fours and 2 sixes. Fast-medium bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar took two vital wickets and off-spinner Ashwin Kumar bowled economically.

India replied with 3 for 165 to win by seven wickets with six balls to spare. Opening batsman Suryakumar Yadav hit a spectacular 76 enriched with 8 fours and 4 sixes. It was his fastest T20 International fifty, hit off only 26 balls. Rishabh Pant also hit with gusto to score an unbeaten 33 with 3 fours and a six.

India leads the five match series 2-1. However their main worry was when skipper and opening bat Rohit Sharma retired hurt with suspected back spasm after scoring 11 runs. BCCI is monitoring his progress. As the next match is on Saturday, it is expected that he will recover by then.

Rohit Sharma said at the presentation, “My body is OK, we have a few days in between so hopefully it should be OK. How we bowled in the middle overs. That was crucial. They were about to get a quick partnership. We used the condition and our variations really well. And then how we chased. It was quite clinical. When you watch it from the outside you felt there wasn’t much risk taken. (Suryakumar’s innings) It is very important that if you get a start in this format, you should convert it. It does well for the team. The 30s and 40s look good but when you get past 70 to 80 and get a hundred as well then you’re scoring those runs for the team. He had good partnership with Shreyas Iyer. When you are chasing a target like that anything can happen. It was not an easy target and the pitch had something for the bowlers. It was important for us to pick the right shots off the right balls.”

Player of the Match Suryakumar Yadav shared his happiness with his team mates, saying “Really happy. When Rohit went inside, it was important for someone to bat 15 to 17 overs. I remained myself and expressed myself. It was important that’s why for someone to bat deep. (Opener role?) I really loved it because I have done it in the IPL as well. Just backed myself and enjoyed it.”

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