Arshdeep Singh’s artistry and Suryakumar Yadav‘s coolness combined well for India as they staved off USA’s challenge, etching a seven-wicket win to clinch a Super Eight berth in the T20 World Cup on Wednesday. After Arshdeep’s career-best 4 for 9 restricted USA to what looked like a manageable 110 for 8, India made a heavy weather of an easy chase on a slightly challenging track before Suryakumar (50 not out off 49 balls) reasserted his status as world’s No. 1 ranked T20 batter.

He traded his flamboyance, waiting like a tiger on the prowl for his prey, in the company of Shivam Dube (31 not out off 35 balls), who didn’t inspire much confidence despite the chase being completed in 18.2 overs.

The Surya-Dube pair added 67 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket stand.

The turning point seemed to be a bit of ignorance about the rules from the US bowlers, who flouted the rule of taking only 60 seconds between the overs on three occasions and conceded five penalty runs at an inopportune time.

India needed 35 off 30 balls at that stage when umpire Paul Reiffel informed skipper Aaron Jones about the decision and that effectively ended the US resistance.

That was the opportunity Surya waited for as he then finished the match in a jiffy with a flurry of shots.

But not before Saurabh Netravalkar (2/18 in 4 overs), the Oracle programmer from Silicon Valley, wrote a couple of perfect codes to remove an out-of-form Virat Kohli (0) with a delivery that shaped away. Rohit Sharma was shocked seeing that dismissal. Netravalkar then bowled a slower one to find the leading edge of former Mumbai senior teammate Rohit Sharma’s willow.

Dube once again struggled on a slow track as India were 53 for 3 after 11 overs with 58 more to get in the last 9 overs.

The shackles were finally broken when Surya uppishly flicked Ali for a boundary towards mid-wicket and Dube, after an arduous struggle of 25 deliveries, picked Corey Anderson‘s slower ball to dispatch him for a six over deep mid-wicket.

India will head to Florida for the final group league game against Canada but the weather forecast in Miami is gloomy and that would certainly raise the US team’s spirits as a draw against Ireland would help them knock Pakistan out of the tournament.

Having opted to bowl, Arshdeep hardly took his foot off the pedal enjoying career-best figures of 4/9 as USA managed 110 for 8, which was decent if not great if one factored in the track at the Nassau County Cricket ground.

After a couple of gallant batting performances in their back-to-back victories, the USA batters found Indian pace attack a few notches above in terms of class and quality.

There was hardly a phase of play when the hosts would have felt the noose being loosened around their necks.

However, after scoring 42 in the first 10, USA with useful contributions from Nitish Kumar (27), Steven Taylor (24) and former New Zealand international Anderson (15) added another 68 in the back-10.

Once Arshdeep got a couple of breakthroughs in the opening over including a first-ball wicket of Shayan Jahangir, there was no looking back for the Indians.

They never had a slip up in terms of intensity, mixing up fuller deliveries with ones that were pitched on back of length.

The left-arm pacer was fantastic both at the start and at the death bowling an incredible 17 dot balls.

Hardik Pandya (2/14) was once again very effective with the ball while Dube’s (0/11) performance wouldn’t raise much hopes for skipper Rohit in terms of a potent bowling option. 

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