Suryakumar scores electric 45-ball ton as India pockets 3rd T20I for another series won at home
RAJKOT: Growing up in the 1980s, we heard stories from a previous generation of how the great Rohan Kanhai of the West Indies would lose his balance and fall while sweeping the fastest bowler for six years.
Perhaps today’s fans will continue to tell tales of how a man called Suryakumar Yadav would fall, lose his balance, but send the cricket ball soaring for a six behind the keeper. It’s a kind of scoop shot that involves danger: you fear for his face if he misses the ball, but in the magic touch he’s in, Surya trusts his instincts to pull it off.


The way he hits now, a day isn’t far off when teams start demanding extra outfielders against ‘SKY’. The man must be a nightmare for video analysts from rival camps.

It was only a matter of time before Yadav landed his first ton of T20I on home soil. That he slammed it with the streak on the line makes it special.

Sending a crowd of 28,000 to the SCA stadium here in delirium, Surya, chewing gum, waved his bat like a magic wand. His unbeaten 112 balls (51 balls; 7×4, 9×6) saw India gallop to 228/5 after opting to strike first in the third and decisive T20I of the series against a shocked Sri Lanka.


The visitors had a night to remember, crashing 137 in response from just 16.4 overs.
Rebounding from five clean sheets in the last game, left-arm point guard Arshdeep Singh took it 3-20 as the hosts won by a whopping 91 points.

Yadav’s 45-ball century was the fastest at this venue in the T20Is, breaking New Zealand fly-half Colin Munro’s record, set in 2017, by 13 balls. It was also the second fastest T20I cent by an Indian, with only Rohit Sharma’s 31-ball ton in Indore in 2017 against Sri Lanka being faster. No one but an opener has broken three centuries in the T20Is, but Surya strikes on another planet.

Before the ‘Surya Special’ came a Rahul Tripathi cameo, a quickfire 35 of only 16 bullets which gave wings at the start of India.

Suryakumar’s show started in the 11th with a trademark inside-out shot for four at extra coverage and a whip to Karunaratne’s square leg. He reached his first peak when, falling, Surya landed a ramp shot for six even as Dilshan Madhushanka’s high, full throw followed him. 18 points came out of that 13th as he shot a 6, 4 and 6.
The party reached a crescendo when Surya beat Theekshana by six in a row in the 14th, which lasted for 23 points.


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