India cricketer Suryakumar Yadav on Sunday (October 2) showcased his batting pyrotechnics with the bat and toyed with South Africa bowlers in the second Twenty20 International here at Barsapara Cricket Stadium. The explosive right-handed batter showed his 360-degree batting exploits as he smashed the joint-second fastest half-century from an Indian in the T20Is.

The 33-year-old cricketer notched up his career’s fastest T20I fifty off just 18 deliveries and equalled his fellow teammate KL Rahul to notch up a half-century. Rahul smashed a 50 off 18 balls against Scotland during the T20 World Cup 2021. While the record for the fastest T20I fifty in the world is held by former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh (50 off 12 balls vs England in 2007 T20 WC).

Suryakumar – who stepped into the middle in the 12th over after Rahul was dismissed for a 28-ball 57 – unleashed the beast mode from the word go. Rahul had smashed five fours and four sixes in his innings and decimated the Protea bowlers with his strokeplay. But Suryakumar’s batting almost made everyone forget about the wonderful knock played by Rahul.

The cricketer – who is currently placed second in the T20I rankings – also achieved another huge milestone by becoming the fastest player to complete 1000 T20I runs in terms of balls faced.

Fastest to 1000 T20I runs (least balls faced):

573 – Suryakumar Yadav (IND)

604 – Glenn Maxwell (AUS)

635 – Colin Munro (NZ)

640 – Evin Lewis (WI)

654 – Thisara Perera (SL)

656 – George Munsey (SCO)

657 – Tony Ura (PNG)

In his knock of 61 off 22 balls, the Mumbaikar hit five fours and as many maximums and it seemed as if he was playing with the minds of the bowlers for they were getting hit all around the park. Yadav’s third consecutive fifty (69 off 34 vs Australia, 50* off 33 vs SA & 61 off 22 vs SA) knock was laced with all kinds of shots as he played cuts, pulls, flicks and drives to perfection and the opposition bowlers were looking for a respite. He batted at an incredible strike rate of 277.27 as Team India posted a mammoth 237 for the loss of three wickets.

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli also showcased an aggressive batting effort and scored an unbeaten 49 off 28 balls. The right-handed batter’s innings was laced with seven fours and a six.

India’s 237/3 in Guwahati was also the highest first innings total against South Africa in T20Is.

The 96-run stand between Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul was the record 15th fifty-plus partnership in the T20Is.