RAJKOT: Growing up in the 1980s, one heard stories from an earlier generation of how West Indies great Rohan Kanhai would lose his balance and fall while sweeping the fastest of bowlers for six.
Perhaps present-day fans will go on to narrate tales of how one man called Suryakumar Yadav would fall off, lose his balance, yet 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 magical touch that he’s in, Surya trusts his instincts to pull it off.
The way he’s batting currently, a day is not far when teams start demanding for extra fielders against ‘SKY’. The man must be a nightmare for video analysts in rival camps.
𝗪.𝗜.𝗡.𝗡.𝗘.𝗥.𝗦! 🏆#TeamIndia | #INDvSL | @mastercardindia https://t.co/LZkiifhNyQ
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1673113675000
It was only a matter of time before Yadav notched up his maiden T20I ton at home. That he slammed it with the series on the line makes it special.
Picture perfect! 📷 #TeamIndia https://t.co/N68FerBHOk
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1673116057000
Sending a 28,000-strong crowd at the SCA Stadium here into delirium, the gum-chewing Surya wielded his bat like a magic wand. His unbeaten 112 (51 balls; 7×4, 9×6) saw India gallop to 228/5 after choosing to bat first in the third and deciding T20I of the series against a shellshocked Sri Lanka.
The visitors had a forgettable night, crashing to 137 all out in reply in just 16.4 overs.
Bouncing back after delivering five no-balls in the last game, left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh took 3-20 as the hosts won by a massive 91-run margin.
Starting the year right 🏆🇮🇳 https://t.co/Kb46lOALhT
— Surya Kumar Yadav (@surya_14kumar) 1673114073000
Yadav’s 45-ball century was the fastest at this venue in T20Is, beating New Zealand opener Colin Munro’s record, which came in 2017, by 13 balls. It was also the second-fastest T20I hundred by an Indian, with only Rohit Sharma’s 31-ball ton in Indore in 2017 against Sri Lanka being faster. No one other than an opener has smashed three centuries in T20Is, but then Surya is batting on a different planet.
Fantastic win for India in decider, @surya_14kumar was sensational again. Already a third T20 hunded, awesome! Hats… https://t.co/9eMC41kCr4
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) 1673113792000
Before the ‘Surya special’ came a Rahul Tripathi cameo, a quickfire 35 of just 16 balls that gave wings to India’s start.
What a performance from #TeamIndia against Sri Lanka! @surya_14kumar and @akshar2026 stepped up and made sure we w… https://t.co/5vTzivu2EE
— Jay Shah (@JayShah) 1673113877000
The Suryakumar show kicked off in the 11th over with a trademark inside-out shot for four to extra cover and a whip over square leg off Karunaratne. It reached its first peak when, falling over, Surya pulled off a ramp shot for six even as Dilshan Madhushanka’s high full toss followed him. 18 runs came off that 13th over as he carted a 6, 4 and 6.
The party reached a crescendo when Surya smashed consecutive sixes off Theekshana in the 14th over, which went for 23 runs.