Suryakumar leads India to Super 8s in win over USA

Media caption,

Arshdeep shines as India secure Super 8s qualification

T20 World Cup, Group A, New York

USA 110-8 (20 overs): Nitish 27 (23); Arshdeep 4-9

India 111-3 (18.2 overs): Suryakumar 50* (49), Netravalkar 2-18

India won by seven wickets

Scorecard. Table

Suryakumar Yadav made an unbeaten half-century as India reached the Super 8s despite being given a fright in a seven-wicket win over T20 World Cup co-hosts USA.

Left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh was rewarded for his diligence and accuracy with impressive figures of 4-9 as he helped restrict the United States to 110-8.

Nitish Kumar played some stylish shots to top score for the US with 27 off 23 balls, but the total felt comfortably within reach of India’s powerful batting line-up.

However, a nervous hush descended on the predominantly India-supporting crowd in New York when they made a spluttering start to their reply.

First Virat Kohli nicked off to Saurabh Netravalkar for a golden duck then the US left-arm fast bowler picked up the wicket of fellow opener Rohit Sharma via a leading edge to leave India reeling at 10-2.

A pivotal moment came in the 13th over, with India on 59-3, when Netravalkar spilled a high catch that would have dismissed Suryakumar on 22.

From that point Suryakumar sensed it was his day as he and Shivam Dube, who finished with 31 not out from 35 balls, found the boundary more freely.

The US will also qualify for the Super 8s if they avoid defeat by Ireland in their final Group A match in Florida on Friday, or if the game is rained off.

India face Canada in their final pool match on Saturday.

Kohli struggles as India scrape home

Media caption,

'Disastrous start' for USA as Arshdeep picks up two wickets in the first over

It’s been a particularly miserable time on the pitch in New York for one of India’s star names.

Kohli came into the tournament on the back of stellar season in the Indian Premier League where he was top runscorer with 741 at an average of 61.75.

Off the field in the Big Apple he has been able to relax in high-end coffee shops with his Bollywood actress wife Anushka Sharma without the frenzied attention he would get at home.

Kohli might have enjoyed his time spent in Manhattan, but his impact on the cricketing graph of the same name barely stretches above the height of a bungalow so far in this tournament.

Scores of four, one and zero in his last three innings, albeit on tricky pitches at the venue inside Eishenhower Park, will be a nagging concern to India supporters before the Super 8s.

Memories of the USA’s shock win over Pakistan might have caused a few palms to sweat particularly when Rishabh Pant, crucial in India's own win over Pakistan, saw his middle stump pegged back by Ali Khan.

Recognising the precarious nature of the situation, Suryakumar, usually a flamboyant 360 player, initially reined in his approach to get India over the line.

His heart would have been in his mouth when Netravalkar, a part-time software engineer and former India Under-19 player, pitter-pattered on the turf at short third underneath a top edge only to fumble it.

For an Associate team to beat a powerhouse like India those types of chances have to be taken and from that point SKY and Dube were able to cruise home with 10 balls to spare.

US left to ponder what might have been

Media caption,

'What a catch!' - Nitish is caught by Siraj off the bowling of Arshdeep

Had the USA managed to get themselves to a score in the region of 130 this might have been an even trickier challenge for their opponents.

India were again indebted to their bowling attack.

Arshdeep trapped USA opener Shayan Jahangir lbw with a peach of a delivery from the first ball of the match before he drew Andries Gous into playing a daft shot.

Aaron Jones has been the USA’s batting star in this tournament, his powerful strokeplay pivotal in victories over Canada and Pakistan.

Both those games were played in Texas on a pitch with considerably more carry and smaller boundaries.

Inevitably Jones could not resist taking on the short ball and Mohammed Siraj suckered him into a top-edging one down to fine leg for 11.

The United States might have capitulated at the point, but Nitish Kumar brought some momentum to the middle overs.

An 88-metre six off Hardik was followed up by a gorgeous straight drive a couple of balls later before he too perished in the deep, caught spectacularly by Siraj.

The barrel-chested Corey Anderson briefly picked up the baton and skilfully managed to extract runs from Jasprit Bumrah, no easy task, to add some valuable lower-order runs .

USA’s bowling attack did their utmost to keep India in check but probably did not have sufficient runs on the board to play with.

However, they were also left to rue the decision to award India five penalty runs in the 15th over of the chase after the US took more than a minute between overs on three occasions.

Progress to the Super 8s, and a chance for the USA to continue their impressive tournament, is still very much in their hands, though.

'We were 10-15 runs short' - reaction

Media caption,

Policeman gets struck as Taylor smashes Dube for six

India captain Rohit Sharma: "We knew this was going to be a tough task.

"We played with a lot of these USA players and I am very happy to see their progress."

USA captain Aaron Jones: "We were 10-15 runs short on that pitch. We knew that 125-130 would have been a tough total to chase but it goes that way sometimes.

"We've still got a game to play, so we'll regroup and come back hard against Ireland."

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