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It was like Washington Sundar vs New Zealand: Hardik Pandya lauds all-rounder after Ranchi T20I heroics

India vs New Zealand: Washington Sundar picked up 2 wickets in his 4-over spell and hit his maiden T20I fifty as his efforts went in vain in the T20I series opener in Ranchi on Friday.

In Short

  • Washington Sudnar picked up 2 for 22 in his 4-over spell
  • Sundar hit 50 from just 28 balls, smashing 3 sixes
  • India lost to New Zealand by 21 runs in Ranchi on Friday

PostterGuy: India captain Hardik Pandya heaped rich praise on Washington Sundar, saying it was the all-rounder who waged a lone battle against New Zealand in the first of a 3-match T20I series in Ranchi. Sundar shone with both bat and ball, but India lost the T20I series opener by 21 runs at JSCA International Cricket Stadium on Friday, January 27.

Washington Sundar did not get an opportunity in the T20I series against Sri Lanka in the New Year as Axar Patel played the spin bowling all-rounder’s role and shone in it, scoring 117 runs and 3 wickets in the 3 T20Is.

However, Sundar made the most of the opportunity that came his way in the New Zealand T20I series opener as he got the opportunity in the XI in the absence of Axar, who took a break, for his marriage.

Sundar bowled with excellent control after India won the toss and opted to field in Ranchi. He bowled as many as two overs in the powerplay and got the big wickets of Finn Allen, who was starting to cut loose, and Mark Chapman. Sundar got two wickets in the same over. And he took a one-handed diving catch to send back Chapman for 0 after setting up the left-handed batter with a series of flatter deliveries.

With the bat, Sundar hit 50 off just 28 balls, smashing 5 boundaries and 3 sixes as he single-handedly kept India alive in their 177-run chase after they lost Suryakumar Yadav (47) and Hardik Pandya (21) in quick succession after a 68-run partnership for the 4th wicket.

India were in early trouble as they lost their openers Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill along with No. 3 Rahul Tripathi cheaply in the powerplay.

Speaking to the broadcasters after India’s 21-run loss, Hardik Pandya said it’s good to have both Axar and Washington in form and firing in T20I cricket.

“The way Washington bowled, batted and fielded, it was more like Washington against New Zealand than India against New Zealand. If he and Axar can continue the way they are, it will help Indian cricket a lot,” he added.

New Zealand rode on Daryl Mitchell and Devon Conway’s fifties to post 176 for 6 in 20 overs. Mitchell Santner, Michael Bracewell and Lockie Ferguson shone with 2 wickets each as the visitors bounced back from their 3-0 thumping in the ODI series to take the lead in the T20i series.

The 2nd of the 3-match series will be played in Lucknow on Sunday, January 29.

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