10 years ago on this very day, the Kingsmead Stadium witnessed the fury and vigor of the Indian southpaw. Yuvraj Singh, the man of the moment, whittle
10 years ago on this very day, the Kingsmead Stadium witnessed the fury and vigor of the Indian southpaw. Yuvraj Singh, the man of the moment, whittled down England’s dream to claim the first ever T20 World Cup.
The crowd went berserk and chanted ‘Yuvi!..Yuvi!!’ that resounded the entire stadium, Durban and even in the world. The tale of how the Punjabi hit 6 sixes to an English ace-pace-man is a folklore in the game and the chants will echo through the ages. And for whatever he has achieved as an Indian cricketer, Yuvraj will perhaps most be associated with September 19, 2007. This feat was special indeed. The Indian team had a flurry of new players without any experienced players to bank on. Led by MS Dhoni, this team went on to win the inaugural ICC T20 World Cup. Yuraj Singh was an indispensable part of it.
In a group stage encounter with rivals, India opted to bat first and got off to a great start as openers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag took the attack to the opposition. India then lost some momentum before in came Yuvraj Singh and the rest is history. Yuvraj took the game away from England in a matter of couple of overs.
The England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff engaged in a spat with the lefty. The Englishman hurled verbal volleys at the angry young batsmen who chose to do the talking with his bat. Meanwhile the English captain put his trust in Stuart Broad and handed him the ball.
The first delivery of Broad’s final over was swung over midwicket for a massive six and the ball landed outside the stadium. Yuraj then gracefully flicked the second ball behind square for six more. On the third ball, he backed away and carved the ball over the covers. By now, the fans were going berserk. An ashen-faced Broad changed his angle to around the stumps, but erred in length. A full toss outside the off stump was slashed over backward point. Four balls, four sixes. The crowd now knew something special was happening. Back over the stumps went Broad, but Yuvraj was ready. On bent knee, he heaved the ball over midwicket for his fifth six. A very thrilled and excited Ravi Shastri was commentating at the time. Incidentally Shastri is one out of the four player who have achieved this feat in earlier times.
The shell-shocked pacer then bowled a half-volley and turned his head as Yuvraj smashed the ball over midwicket to make it six sixes off the over. The crowd as well as his teammates went bananas celebrating the southpaw’s 12-ball half-century, the fastest in T20Is. Both England and Broad were devastated by the fire that Yuraj spit with his bat.
In response, Vikram Solanki, Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood made fine contributions but could not emulate what they had witnessed in India’s innings. Eventually, England fell short by 18 runs, failing to register a win in the Super Eights.
As a matter of fact, England were 171/5 after 18 overs – the same score India had been at after the 18th over before Yuvraj ransacked 36 from Broad’s over.
Only four players around the world have achieved this milestone, including the talented Yuvraj.
The West Indies legend Gary Sobers was the first man to achieve the feat on August 31, 1968, in a match between Nottinghamshire and Glamorgan. The former India all-rounder Ravi Shastri and now the coach of the Indian cricket team was the second man to hit six sixes in an over on 10th January 1985 playing against Baroda.
Former South African opener Herschelle Gibbs became the first player to hit six sixes in an ODI against Netherlands in the 2007 World Cup.
Yuvraj’s onslaught over Broad still remains one of the most told stories in the game of cricket. The Prince has set the bars high and his accolades will keep amusing the generations to follow. We wish to see Yuvi back in the mix and hit a few more out of the park.