Kohli record as India ease past Hong Kong

·2-min read

Suryakumar Yadav has hit a blistering unbeaten 68 and Virat Kohli equalled the record for most half-centuries in T20 internationals as India romped to a 40-run victory over underdogs Hong Kong in the Asia Cup.

The victory on Wednesday lifted India into the Super 4 stage by finishing first in Group A after they'd also beaten arch rivals Pakistan in their first match last Sunday.

Suryakumar smashed six fours and six sixes in a superb display of power-hitting off just 26 balls in the death overs, while Kohli made an unbeaten 59 off 44 with three sixes and a four in India's strong total of 2-192.

Hong Kong then edged India in the batting powerplay with 2-51, mainly due to top-scorer Babar Hayat's 41, before they ended up falling short on 5-152.

Kohli, who'd looked nervy against Pakistan in his comeback game, again looked edgy before raising his 31st T20 half-century which brought him on par with skipper Rohit Sharma's record of most fifties in the shortest format.

Rohit, who lost the toss, and Lokesh Rahul were tied down by Hong Kong's pacemen and offspinner Ehsan Ali in the batting powerplay.

Rohit made 21 off 13 balls before he got caught at mid-on from seamer Ayush Shukla's off-cutter, which hit the top of his bat and didn't get enough power.

Rahul's struggles continued for the second successive game and, after his golden duck against Pakistan, he laboured to 36 off 39 balls before edging to the keeper in the 13th over.

Kohli took a backseat and Suryakumar gave India acceleration, especially smashing boundaries at will against Hong Kong's inexperienced pace attack.

Kohli completed his half-century in the penultimate over by clipping Ehsan to midwicket for two.

Suryakumar smacked fast bowler Arshad Khan (0-53) for four sixes in the last over -- which went for 26 -- and also completed his half-century off just 22 balls, which provided India with a perfect finish.

Hong Kong lagged far behind in their run-chase once Ravindra Jadeja had skipper Nizakat Khan (10) run out off a brilliant direct throw from point and then had dangerman Hayat caught at point in the 12th over.

Zeeshan Ali (26no) and wicketkeeper batter Scott McKechnie (16no) narrowed the margin by hitting Indian fast bowlers Avesh Khan and Arshdeep Singh for 33 runs in the last two overs as India sealed the top spot in Group A.

Hong Kong will take on Pakistan in the last group game with the winner meeting India again in the second Super 4 game on Sunday.

Afghanistan have already qualified for Super 4 from Group B after winning both their group games against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.