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Asia Cup

Super Surya earns 'freedom to attack'



Photo: AFP

|| AFP ||

Suryakumar Yadav on Wednesday said he has the freedom to attack opposition bowlers after his blazing 68 not out helped India move into the Asia Cup Super Four stage with a comfortable win over Hong Kong.

Suryakumar smashed six sixes in his 26-ball knock, and put on an unbeaten stand of 98 with Virat Kohli, who made 59 not out, to steer India to 192-2 batting first in Dubai.

Hong Kong were limited to 152-5 in reply as India registered their second successive victory to join Afghanistan in the next round of the six-nation event, which acts as a tune-up to the T20 World Cup in October-November.

But it was Suryakumar's blitz that stood out as the number four blasted his way to a 22-ball fifty and finished the innings with four sixes in the final over.

"I feel I have been batting the same way since the last three-four years," Suryakumar, who made his India debut last year after a powerpacked showing in the IPL, told reporters after his team's 40-run win.

"We have a good backing from our captain and the team management that whatever the situation is, you go out and express yourself."

Hong Kong, who made the main draw after winning all three of their matches in the qualifiers in Oman, had largely kept India in check before losing their way once Suryakumar started teeing off.

The 33-year-old Kohli, who is going through an extended batting slump and made 35 in his team's opening win over Pakistan, also got going to complete his 31st half-century in his 101st T20 international.

Kohli's knock though was put in the shade by Suryakumar as Hong Kong conceded 78 runs in the last five overs.

Suryakumar, 31, said batting alongside the experienced Kohli helped him during the knock.

"I enjoyed batting with him. The plan was absolutely clear, we were talking a lot about what to do in the situation. Experience counts because I haven't played as many T20s as he has played," said Suryakumar.

"My plan was simple and that was to express myself. Sometimes it comes off, sometimes it doesn't. Today was lucky for me."