Published on: Jan 07, 2023
Suryakumar Yadav smashed his third T20I century as India beat Sri Lanka by 91 runs in the third T20I at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Saturday, January 7. India batted first after winning the toss and put up a massive 228 for 5 on the board. Suryakumar was unbeaten on 112 off only 51 balls, smacking seven fours and nine sixes.
Shubman Gill chipped in with 46 off 36, Rahul Tripathi clubbed 35 off 16, while Axar Patel also played a handy cameo at the end, remaining unbeaten on 21 off 9 balls. All the Sri Lankan bowlers proved expensive. Dilshan Madushanka registered figures of 2 for 55 while Chamika Karunaratne went for 52 in his four overs and Maheesh Theekshana for 48.
The Lankans were never in the hunt in the chase. They tried to go after the bowling, but were bundled out for 137 in 16.4 overs, with not a single batter reaching 30. Left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh claimed 3/20 for India, while skipper Hardik Pandya, Umran Malik and Yuzvendra Chahal picked up two wickets each.
Suryakumar was deservedly named Player of the Match for his stupendous knock, while all-rounder Axar was picked as Player of the Series. Speaking after being named Player of the game in the third T20I, SKY said that he has been working really hard in practice.
The 32-year-old explained, “It’s really important to put pressure on yourself when you are preparing for a game. If you do that in practice, it gets a little easier while playing the game. There is a lot of hard work involved but it’s about doing quality practice sessions. You should know what your game is and prepare accordingly. Boundaries behind are like 50-60 meters, so I was targeting them.”
Asked about his exceptional stroke-making skills, he replied, “There are some shots that are pre-determined but you need to have other shots too so that if the bowler changes his plan, you can have an answer. He (Dravid) just lets me enjoy myself. He tells me to just enjoy and express myself.”
On winning the Player of the Series, Axar commented that he feels happier when the team benefits from his batting when compared to bowling. He said about his performance, “Didn’t do anything different for this series, just that the captain gave me a lot of confidence in the dugout.
“He tells me to play freely and tells me that he is there to protect me. We do a lot of planning during team meetings but sometimes things do go wrong and I just focus on doing my plans properly,” Axar concluded.
–By A Cricket Correspondent