Colombo, July 25: Suryakumar Yadav continues to make his case stronger to earn a place in India's squad in the forthcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021 as the right-handed batsman smashed a quickfire fifty in the first Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka on Sunday (July 25).
Suryakumar notched up his second half-century in T20Is with his impressive knock of 50 runs off 34 deliveries. The Mumbai cricketer - who was in sublime touch in the recently concluded ODI series in the island nation - started the T20I series on a confident note. Suryakumar continued showing his 360-degree hitting skills when he attacked almost every Sri Lankan bowler.
Batting at number four in the opening T20I, the right-handed batsman hit five boundaries and a couple of maximums in his knock. Suryakumar - who was declared the player of the three-match ODI series between the two teams - continued where he left in the 50-overs format and went on notching up his second T20 half-century.
Suryakumar also stitched a vital partnership with skipper Shikhar Dhawan - who was scoring at a slow rate. While Dhawan struggled to score freely with the bat, Surya hardly had any trouble facing the bowlers as he played strokes all around the park.
While Surya continued impressing with the bat and continued to garner praise for his performance in the short limited-overs career, his Mumbai Indians teammate Hardik Pandya continued to disappoint. The all-rounder from Baroda - who is tipped as one of the biggest match-winners in the white-ball format - had a forgettable outing in the game.
Hardik was sent into the middle at number five but the right-handed batsman failed to make an impression as he was dismissed for 10 by Dushmantha Chameera. Hardik edged the ball and wicketkeeper Minod Bhanuka and was dismissed at a crucial time.
Later, Hardik even dropped a catch of Minod Bhanuka at short-cover off Deepak Chahar's delivery. Later, when captain Shikhar Dhawan brought him into the attack Hardik was welcomed with a six.
The entire tour continues to remain a forgettable one for Hardik as he looked ineffective in all three departments of the game in all four games played in Sri Lanka.