Suryakumar Yadav scored a 49-ball unbeaten half-century after Arshdeep Singh claimed a four-fer as India thrashed USA by seven wickets in a Group A match to qualify for the Super Eight stage in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium.

It was India's bowlers who set up the win as they delivered a masterclass in seam and swing bowling, setting the stage for their batsmen to chase down a manageable total and secure a vital victory in their T20 World Cup campaign. Arshdeep claimed four wickets for nine runs in four overs while Hardik Pandya bagged 2-14 as India restricted USA to 110/8 in 20 overs.

After setting a modest target of 111, USA's Saurabh Netravalkar shocked India with early wickets -- Virat Kohli got out nicking behind for a golden duck while Rohit Sharma was caught by Harmeet Singh for three. It was the stuff of dreams for the 32-year-old, who had spoken about the desire to chat with Kohli, among others, after the match.

Skipper Rohit Sharma was opened up by an in-swinger from Netravalkar. On both occasions, Netravalkar had the ball slanting away from the right-handers. Rohit turned the bat face a tad early to get a leading edge to mid-off where Harmeet Singh, Rohit's junior at school, took an excellent catch running back.

Out came Suryakumar Yadav, Netravalkar's close friend from Mumbai. The two have known each other from their Under-15 days and played club cricket together before being teammates at in the Ranji Trophy. Yadav added 29 runs in 32 deliveries for the third wicket with Rishabh Pant. Pant was cleaned up by Ali Khan for 18 runs as the ball shot low and skidded through the batter's defence.

With another Mumbaikar Shivam Dube as his new partner, Yadav repaired the innings. He began with his trademark flick for six over long leg but was treading caution. With 55 needed off 45 balls, Yadav looked to create shots out of the box.

T20 World Cup cricket

An over prior, he'd tried to sweep Corey Anderson off his lengths and nearly got bowled and then in a bid to break the shackles, SKY tried to open the bat face and play the lofted drive but ended up slicing it to short third. Netravalkar, who can do no wrong, made circles underneath after doing exceedingly well in getting to the ball but trembled for a fraction as the ball descended, and it slipped through his hands.

Five penalty runs were awarded to India with 35 needed off 30 as thrice in the inning USA failed to start the over within the time limit. Everything fell in peace for India as Yadav--the NO.1 T20I batter as per the ICC Rankings, scored a 49-ball half-century and took India to a seven-wicket victory. Dube remained unbeaten on 31.

Earlier in the day, India's clinical bowling display, spearheaded by Arshdeep Singh, restricted hosts USA to a modest total of 110/8. On a day when conditions favoured the bowlers with abundant swing and seam movement, India won the toss and elected to field.

It took just one ball for Arshdeep to make an impact. His very first delivery was a beautiful in-swinger that struck Shayan Jahangir's pad, giving India an early breakthrough. The hosts found themselves at 2 for 2 as Andries Gous, attempting to tackle a short-of-length delivery, succumbed to the extra bounce and was caught out. Both wickets fell in Arshdeep's electrifying first over.

Nitish Kumar provided a glimmer of hope for the USA, displaying his clean-hitting ability with some powerful shots, including a straight hit off Hardik. But his promising innings of 27 was curtailed by Arshdeep, who struck again, thanks to a brilliant catch by Siraj at deep midwicket. Arshdeep's remarkable spell ended with figures of 4 for 9, while Hardik Pandya's disciplined bowling earned him 2 for 14 in his four overs.

Brief Score:

USA 110/8 in 20 overs (Nitish Kumar 27, Steven Taylor 24; Arshdeep Singh 4-9, Hardik Pandya 2-14) lost to India 111/3 in 18.2 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 50 not out, Shivam Dube 31 not out; Saurabh Netravalkar 2-18, Ali Khan 1-21) by seven wickets.

(With inputs from IANS)