Suryakumar Yadav's power-packed knock lugs India into Asia Cup Super 4s
Dubai/UNI: Suryakumar Yadav's unbeaten 68 off 26 and Virat Kohli's 31st fifty powered India to a 40-run victory over Hong Kong in the fourth T20 match in 2022 Asia Cup at Dubai International Stadium here Wednesday.
With this win, India stormed into the Super 4s from Group A.
On Aug 28, India defeated Pakistan by five wickets.
On Tuesday, Afghanistan, who are listed in Group B, became the first team in the tournament to qualify for Super 4s after defeating Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The extravagant batting display by Suryakumar and Virat helped India post a mammoth 192/2, after they were sent to bat in Hong Kong.
In the final over, Suryakumar clubbed four sixes off Haroon Arshad, giving India a very strong target for Hong Kong.
Overall, he hammered six fours and as many sixes, at a strike rate of 261.53, while Virat remained unbeaten on 59 off 44, with one four and three sixes.
Both Virat and Suryakumar sewed up a 98-run stand for third wicket in just 45 balls, which changed the complexion of the game, considering India started off in first-gear mode.
In the first 10 overs, India managed just 70/1, keeping in view India's pulsating T20 record in bilateral series against England and Sri Lanka.
Initially the pitch was a bit sticky with the ball nipping around. However KL Rahul and skipper Rohit Sharma managed to score 36 and 21 respectively before they departed.
However, Suryakumar made the pitch look different as he crafted daredevil scoops and drives, as stated to club sixes off the cursed Hong Kong bowling attack.
Virat also found his form in the later half of the innings, bringing about sixes, holding the stamped insignia of his strokemaking on the leg side enroute to scoring a 50 after a long time.
In reply, Hong Kong lost Yasim Murtaza (9) early, but Babar Hayat (41 off 35) set the seal on getting his side to the half century mark, before his captain Nizakhat Khan departed after scoring 10 off 12 balls.
He was run out on Ravindra Jadeja's direct throw. Post that the scoring rate plummeted remarkably.
The Indian spinners, Jadeja and Yuzvendra Chahal, scarcely gifted freebies in middle overs and both conceded only 33 runs in 8 overs, bagging a wicket.
Zeeshan Ali (26 no off 17) and Scott McKechnie (16 no off 8) showered boundaries towards the end to reduce the margin of defeat.
Fast bowlers Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan were expensive as they gave away 97 runs in 8 overs, bagging two wickets.
These bowlers could be worrisome for Rohit when they take on big teams in the Super 4s stage.
Brief Scores: India 192/2 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 68 not out, Virat Kohli 59 not out; Mohammad Ghazanfar 1/19, Ayush Shukla 1/29) beat Hong Kong 152/5 in 20 overs (Babar Hayat 41, Kinchit Shah 30, Ravindra Jadeja 1/15, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 1/15) by 40 runs