Yuvraj pyrotechnics steers India home

Published: Thursday, September 20, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Bangalore: Stylish southpaw Yuvraj Singh became the first player in Twenty20 history to hit six sixes in an over as India defeated England by 18 runs in the Group-E Twenty20 Cup Super Eights tie at Kingsmead in Durban on Wednesday.

South Africa's win over New Zealand had already eliminated England and, despite some aggressive batting up the order, they were always struggling to keep up with the rate.

The top five batsmen got starts but failed to translate them into match winning one as England ended on 200 for six. Vikram Solanki (43) and Kevin Pietersen (38) put on some fight before succumbing under pressure.

But this game will be remembered solely for the Yuvraj carnage in the final over of Broad's spell - which leaked 60 runs in four overs - as dashing left-hander hammered the fastest fifty in international history, off 12 balls.

Already resigned to elimination from the tournament following South Africa"s victory over New Zealand earlier in the day, England"s misery was compounded as India smashed 218 for four - the third highest score in the competition.

Given a flying start by openers Virender Sehwag and Gautem Gambhir, who shared a 136-run stand off 88 balls, However it was Yuvraj who put the finishing touches to a brilliant performance with a historic penultimate over to the innings.

Having been hit for five successive sixes himself by Dimitri Mascarenhas during this summer"s NatWest Series at the Oval, Yuvraj went one better to hit 36 off Stuart Broad to become only the fourth man in history to achieve the feat following Sir Gary Sobers, Ravi Shastri and Herschelle Gibbs.

Sir Sobers did it for Notts hitting John Nash and Shastri for Mumbai in a Ranji Trophy game against Baroda while Gibbs did it for Proteas Dutch bowler van Bunge was at the receiving end in a ICC World Cup game At Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis.

India began the over on 171 for three and Yuvraj immediately set to work by hitting the first ball over long-on, then smashed further sixes over backward square-leg and extra cover.

Another flew over backward point, then he hit high over mid-wicket before completing the historic feat by clearing long-on to complete an incredible over.

When he was finally out in the final over, caught by Paul Collingwood at long-off attempting to drive Andrew Flintoff down the ground, Yuvraj had hit 58 off 16 balls - including seven sixes and three fours.


Sehwag had earlier put England"s attack to the sword by hammering 68 off 52 balls, including four fours and three sixes, to dominate India"s opening stand.

Batting cautiously at first - they scored only 24 from the first four overs - India advanced from 50 to 100 in only 28 balls to lay the platform for their late assault.

Hampshire seamer Chris Tremlett, preferred to leg-spinner Chris Schofield for England"s final match, ended their stand when he bowled Sehwag as he advanced down the pitch.

Robin Uthappa was also dismissed in similar manner to set the stage for Yuvraj, whose dramatic finale to the innings left England requiring a major effort to avoid a resounding defeat.

Solanki and Darren Maddy made steady progress, putting on 53 runs in just under six overs before the latter was caught by Gambhir at mid-on off Irfan Pathan.

Solanki was dropped by Yuvraj at gully off Joginder Sharma and by RP at square-leg off Sree Santh before eventually being snaffled at mid-off by Joginder off Pathan.

By the time England passed 100 in the 12th over, the required rate was 13.50.

Pietersen slapped Sharma a dozen rows back over mid-wicket and down the ground to give his team a glimmer of hope but only nine runs came in the next 12 balls.

And when Pietersen was dismissed by Harbhajan Singh, the required rate was around a daunting 17 an over.

Collingwood swung defiantly to send Sreesanth over mid-wicket and down to fine-leg for 10 in two balls before another thrash over mid-wicket made it 16 off the over.

However England had a tough ask in the final over needing 36 runs in six balls and Luke Wright managed half of them before being superbly caught on the long-oof boundary by Harbhajan.


Write Comments