Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], September 29 (ANI): There is no stopping Suryakumar Yadav in the shortest format of the game in 2022, as he has now become the batter with the highest number of sixes in a calendar year.
He reached this landmark during India's first T20i in three-match series against South Africa in Kerala.
During the match, chasing a low score of 107 on a tricky pitch offering swing and a great deal of bounce, the wristy right-hander looked head and shoulders above all, seeming to be batting on a different surface.
He smashed an unbeaten 50 off just 33 balls, a knock consisting of five fours and three sixes. On a pitch where even a strike rate of 100 was difficult, Suryakumar hit the ball at a rate of 151.52.
The three sixes took his tally to 45 sixes in 2022.
With this, he has gone past Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan, who had hit 42 sixes in 2021 and held the record previously. New Zealand's veteran Martin Guptill is third with 41 sixes in 2021. Interestingly, Rizwan took 26 innings to hit his 42 sixes, but Suryakumar did this in just 21 innings.
Coming to the match, with this victory, India leads the series 1-0.
Put to bat first by India, South Africa had a start that even nightmarish would be an understatement. The unreal swing generated by Deepak Chahar and Arshdeep Singh saw the Proteas lose half of their team for just nine runs in less than three overs.
However, fighting knocks from Keshav Maharaj (41), Aiden Markram (24) and Wayne Parnell (24) helped Proteas save face and post 106/8 in 20 overs.
Chahar (2/24) and Arshdeep (3/32) delivered brilliant four-over spells for India and destroyed South Africa's top order. Harshal Patel (2/26) and Axar Patel (1/16) also impressed with their spells.
Chasing 107, India was off to a slow start, losing Rohit Sharma (0) and Virat Kohli (3) cheap to Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje.
India was 17/2 in their six overs after the conclusion of the powerplay. KL Rahul (51) and in-form Suryakumar Yadav (50) took the game ahead, with Rahul anchoring and Suryakumar being the aggressor. Both stitched a match-winning 93-run stand to help India secure an eight-wicket win.
Arshdeep Singh won the 'Man of the Match' award for his brilliant spell. (ANI)