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In an ODI four years ago, India and Hong Kong were separated by just 26 runs. They fell short this time by 40 runs. With all due respect to Hong Kong, the outcome was predetermined even if they valiantly made the decision to pursue. Giving the batters enough playing time for the remainder of the tournament and, consequently, the T20 World Cup, is the entire purpose of a match like this. The justification is straightforward: there is rarely a better chance to simply bash a bowling attack that hardly gets to play top-flight cricket. To make room for Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya also left the field. This particular Asia Cup encounter on Wednesday was of that nature.

India concluded with a total of 192/2, which was over average for the pitch but maybe not quite there given Hong Kong's bowling attack's overall experience. When Hong Kong started playing aggressively in their innings and reached 51/2 after the required Powerplay, the disparity became even more obvious. India's odds at the time were 44/1. Hong Kong was actually performing well even at the midway point, achieving 65/2 versus India's 70/1. It won't be far-fetched to argue that Suryakumar Yadav outlined the key differences between the two sides.

In the end, Hong Kong scored 152/5, giving India their second victory.

What distinguished Yadav from his teammates? He approached the game the way it should be played: bravely and constantly. Yadav needed 26 balls to reach 68 runs without being bowled, but 60 of those runs were sixes and fours. With Virat Kohli, Yadav contributed to an unbroken 98-run partnership off 45 balls with an astonishing but predicted strike rate of over 261. In T20Is, India scored 78 runs in their final five overs, which ranks third best behind 86 against the West Indies in Kolkata earlier this year and 80 against England in 2007.