Surya, who has matched the peerless Virat Kohli hit-for-hit in this World Cup, smashed an unbeaten 61 off 25 balls in India’s impressive total of 186 for 5.
As It Happened: India vs Zimbabwe | Points Table
Zimbabwe’s batting depth was never enough to surpass that score and they were bowled out for 115 in 17.2 overs with Ravichandran Ashwin (3/22) enjoying a good day at the office.
Save Axar Patel (0/36 in 3 overs), all the other Indian bowlers were on target and between the wickets in one of the most lopsided matches of this world event.
Hardik Pandya and Mohammed Shami took two wickets each while Arshdeep Singh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar shared a wicket each.
India finished top of Group 2 and will now play their fourth T20 World Cup semi-final (after 2007, 2014, 2016) against Jos Buttler’s England in Adelaide on November 10.
If Kohli lit up the MCG with a knock for the ages on October 23, November 6 looked like a rock concert where the length of Surya’s shadow grew with every passing stroke.
Zimbabwean pacer Blessing Muzarabani, after being hit for a couple of boundaries, let the ball slip out of his hand on his run-up. He was basically shaken and nervous.
SKY’s the limit 🔥For his stunning 25-ball 61*, Suryakumar Yadav is the @aramco POTM ⭐#T20WorldCup https://t.co/66N2OFUECS
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Indian cricket has seen many supple wrists, but malleable wrists coupled with brute strength are a rarity. Surya is indeed a rare breed.
On Sunday, he confirmed his status as the world’s number one T20 batsman with the help of six fours and four sixes.
The last five overs yielded as many as 79 runs and most of them were scored by the Mumbaikar.
The fortuitous ramp shot to guide left-arm Richard Ngarava’s full toss behind third man, the stroke sweep behind square with the pace of the delivery or the reigning inside-out loft over extra cover from Tendai Chatara, Surya oozed class with each shot.
India pull off a big win over Zimbabwe to top the Group 2 table! ⚡They will meet England in Adelaide in the semi… https://t.co/siFs6heLVx
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But certainly, the memorable ones were the last overs from Ngarava when Surya took the deliveries outside the off stump and dropped behind deep fine leg.
If that wasn’t enough, he finished with a six over.
Zimbabwe’s slow bowlers – left-arm spinners Wellington Masakadza (0/12 in 2 overs), Sikandar Raza (1/18 in 3 overs) and Sean Williams (2/9 in 2 overs) did an excellent job between overs 7 to 15. they literally bottled the peerless Virat Kohli (26 off 25 balls).
But Surya and Hardik Pandya (18 off 18 balls) added 65 in just 5.5 overs to negate the good work done by Craig Ervine’s slow bowlers.
Blessing Muzarabani (0/50 in 4 innings), Ngarava (1/44 in 4 innings) and Tendai Chatara (0/34 in 4 innings) gave away 138 runs in the 12 innings between them.
The pull shot, which has brought many laurels over the years, again contributed to Rohit Sharma’s (15) downfall as he was a little late to kick in a short ball from Muzarabani and was caught on square boundary.
Kohli walked in with purpose and the first delivery by Muzarabani was clipped off his legs for a boundary, but the classic ‘hold your pose’ shot was a short-arm sweep from off-spinner Wellington Masakadza, but it stuck against the Zimbabwean spinners after Powerplay.
The veteran Williams finally found him when the batsman got too close to the pitch of the delivery for a high drive to be caught at long off.
After playing a first lead off Richard Ngarava, KL Rahul (51 off 35) eventually got off with a six behind square off the same bowler and looked a different player from then until he completed his second fifty of the competition.
A cut back from Muzarabani gave him enough confidence before he started Ryan Burl’s short deliveries – first a six over and the second strike sweep fell just inside the ropes.
A straight third six in sight off a Sikandar Raza long-hop brought up his second fifty from 33 deliveries before going for a second one over long-off spelled his demise.
Rishabh Pant (2)’s confidence after dropping dropped and it showed as he departed quickly before Surya changed the course of the innings.