Tilak Varma storms past Gambhir, six-hitting Suryakumar scales new T20I heights as records tumble in India's win over WI

Aug 09, 2023 08:32 AM IST

Tilak Varma and Suryakumar Yadav helped themselves to individual feats they could be mighty proud of as India defeated West Indies by 7 wickets to stay alive.

India are alive. As is the series. Putting behind the abject batting failures of the last two games, the real Team India showed up in Guyana to pull one back against West Indies by 7 wickets. Chasing 160 - the highest target of the series, India were once again jolted early with openers Shubman Gill and Yashasvi Jaiswal perishing early, but unlike the last two games, two batters who personify T20 batting – Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Varma – took center-stage and made it an evening worth remembering for the Indians. The Mumbai Indians pair which has so far added six 50-plus partnerships in the IPL, registered their first for India, and one that couldn't have come at a better time – in a do-or-die scenario.

India's Tilak Varma (left) and Suryakumar Yadav knock gloves during their partnership.(AP)
India's Tilak Varma (left) and Suryakumar Yadav knock gloves during their partnership.(AP)

Their partnership of 87 runs put India's chase on track. Suryakumar clubbed 10 fours and 4 sixes for a 44-ball 83 while 21-year-old Tilak continues to impress in his young career with another impressive knock of 49 not out. Ands as the two came together to bat West Indies out of the contest, Varma and Suryakumar helped themselves to some pretty impressive achievements.

With scores of 39, 51 and 49, Tilak is now second in the list of most T20I runs for India after first three innings. With 139 runs, the MI youngster surged past former India opener Gautam Gambhir's whose tally read 109 – 0 against Pakistan, 51 vs New Zealand and 58 against England at the 2007 T20 World Cup. At the top is Deepak Hooda, who scored 21 against Sri Lanka, followed by an unbeaten 47 and 104 against Ireland just last year. Following Suryakumar, Tilak became the second Indian batsman to achieve scores of 30 or more in each of his first three T20I innings.

If Varma was riding the high of beginning his India career in blazing fashion, Suryakumar was equally red-hot. Somehow missing his mark in the first two T20Is, SKY lived up to his moniker as the No. 1 ranked batter and looked set for his 4th T20I century. Well, a mistimed full-toss paid put to those plans but it didn't stop Surya from etching his name in the pantheons of T20I greats. After smoking his third six – off a slower one from Romario Shepherd – Suryakumar became the joint second-fastest ever to notch up 100 sixes in T20Is. In 49 innings, SKY is not just tied with Chris Gayle and next only to Evin Lewis, but also the quickest Indian to register a ton of T20I maximums.

Special fifty for Kuldeep

Forced to miss the 2nd T20I after getting hit in the nets, Kuldeep Yadav was back in roaring form picking up 3/28 and playing a key role in choking the West Indies from overs 10 to 17. One of this three wickets was that of the dangerous Nicholas Pooran. Appearing in ominous touch again, Pooran had smoked a six and four off Kuldeep in the 13th over before he sent the thorn in India's eye back out stumped.

Having already snuffed out Johnson Charles earlier and then the dangerous Pooran, Kuldeep added a third by dismissing Brandon King in his final over which landed him an achievement he can be mighty proud of. King's wicket was the 50th of Kuldeep's T20I career, making him the fastest Indian to the landmark. This was Kuldeep's 30th time bowling in T20Is, four quicker than Yuzvendra Chahal, who held the record previously.

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