Bangalore, March 6: As India managed to overpower Ireland and win their World Cup fixture at Bangalore's Chinnaswamy stadium, an unlikely hero emerged. It was Yuvraj Singh, who silenced his critics yet again courtesy a remarkable record-breaking show with both bat and ball. Indeed, Yuvi became the first player ever in the World Cup to ensnare 5-wickets and then score 50. Let us relive that glorious quintet of scalps and his match-winning knock.
With Ireland's score at 129/3, Yuraj foxed Andrew White with a flighted ball that pitched on a length and turned outside off. White reached for it, got an outer edge and captain M S Dhoni, behind the stumps, did the rest.
Then, at 147/5 in the 34th over, the danger man Kevin O'Brien patted an innocuous length ball straight back to Yuvraj as the bowler accepted the gift, thank you very much.
Yuvraj was a little fortuitous with his next fatal delivery. With the score at 160/5 in the 38th over, Yuvraj bowled a short ball on off to the left-handed William Porterfield which the batsman smacked right into the hands of Harbhajan Singh at cover.
Then four overs later, Yuvraj bowled a looped delivery pitching just outside off and turning in sharply to John Mooney who was not able to get his pad out of the way. The batsman was adjudged lbw and appealed for a decision review, which upheld the umpire's call.
Finally, in the 44th over, Yuraj trapped Alex Cusack in front. The umpire gave it not out and on Yuvraj's prodding M S Dhoni called for the decision review, which showed the ball hitting Cusack in line with the stumps, but also a good 2.5 metres in front. However, the on field umpire reversed his decision and Yuvraj had five.
Yuvraj's innings that followed that feat was a knock of patience and supreme temperament befitting a batsman of his calibre. Coming in at the fall of Tendulkar's wicket in a precarious situation with the score at 87/3, he started off cautiously. Indeed, he spent a while testing the waters and then set sail.
Two overs later, he was blatantly guilty for running out his partner Virat Kohli, setting off for a single and then turning back abruptly when the latter was already half-way down the pitch. But he made amends for that faux pas by staying firm at the crease and striking up a partnership with M S Dhoni.
His first four came at the end of the 25th over, when he pulled off-spinner Paul Stirling to the mid-wicket boundary. Together with Dhoni, he took India past 150 in the 37th over and then with Yusf Pathan saw the scoreboard tick over 200 in the 46th over, before he and Pathan each took a four off John Mooney to seal the match.