Yuvraj's mauling of Broad stands out in 2007 title triumph
Yuvraj Singh's magnificent feat of slamming England pace bowler Stuart Broad for six sixes in one over stands out among the many memorable moments in the inaugural ICC World T20 Championship in which India triumphed so dramatically in SA in September, 2007.cricket Updated: Sep 13, 2009 16:45 IST
Yuvraj Singh's magnificent feat of slamming young England pace bowler Stuart Broad for six sixes in one over stands out among the many memorable moments in the inaugural ICC World T20 Championship in which India triumphed so dramatically in South Africa in September, 2007.
The left-handed Yuvraj smote the blond fast bowler with disdain into the stands repeatedly to join the ranks of Gary Sobers and Ravi Shastri, who have performed the rare feat in traditional first class cricket.
The swashbuckling batsman's 58 of 16 balls at the Sahara Stadium in Kingsmead, Durban, which included three fours and a staggering seven sixes, was the icing after Indian openers Virender Sehwag (68 of 52 balls) and Gautam Gambhir (58 of 41) had blazed away to 136 in 15 overs.
A few days prior to that Yuvraj blitz came India's heart-stopping bowl-out win over arch rivals Pakistan after the two teams were tied at the same score of 141 on September 14, also at Durban, in the preliminary league.
That thriller, a prelude to the September 24 final between the same rivals which was also a nail-biter at Johannesburg, followed the wash-out of Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led team's opener against Scotland a day earlier at the same venue.
Following is a brief flash-back at India's fantastic progress that culimated in their title-triumph in South Africa.
Sep 13, Durban: Preliminary Group D match against Scotland - was washed out with teams splitting two points equally.
Sep 14, Durban: Group D match against Pakistan - India made 141 for nine, Robin Uthappa top-scoring with a brisk 50 off 39 balls and was well-supported by captain Dhoni with 33 off 31 balls.
Pakistan replied with 141 for 7. Misbah ul Haq made 53 off 35 balls and Irfan Pathan took 2 for 20.
Sep 16, Johannesburg: Second stage, Group E match against New Zealand was lost by India by 10 runs, their only defeat in the tournament.
The Kiwis rattled off 190 in 20 overs, power-hitting Brendon McCullum making 45 off 31 balls and the tall Jacob Oram smashing 35 off 15. Rudra Pratap Singh and Harbhajan Singh grabbed two wickets apiece.
In reply, India made 180 for 9 after Gambhir (51 off 53) and Sehwag (40 off 17) provided the platform with an opening stand of 76.
Sep 19, Durban: Second stage Group E tie against England which India won by 18 runs.
India's blitz, started by Gambhir and Sehwag's half centuries and their opening stand of 136 and finished by Yuvraj's magnificent 58 with three fours and seven sixes in it, helped Dhoni and his men make an imposing 218 for 4.
England's brave attempt to overhaul their opponents' tall score was led by Vikram Solanki, with 43 off 31 balls, and Kevin Pietersen who made 39 off 23, but they ended up well short. R P Singh and Irfan Pathan shared five wickets.
This victory kick-started India's glorious run that ended with them pocketing the crown five days later as they vanquished top teams South Africa on the next day and Australia on September 22, both at Durban, before finishing off in great fashion by vanquishing Pakistan in the grand finale at Johannesburg.
India were too good for both, whipping the Proteas by 37 runs on September 20, and doing an encore two days later by drubbing Australia - who had only five months earlier steamrolled all opposition to win the World Cup in the West Indies - by 15 runs.
Riding on a fine, unbeaten 50 by Young Turk Rohit Sharma, made off 40 balls with 7 fours and 2 sixes, and skipper Dhoni's timely 45 of 33 balls, India tallied 153 for five.
They then squeezed South Africa to 116 for nine through some splendid bowling by R P Singh (4 for 13), Sreesanth and Harbhajan, who both captured two wickets, for a big win.
High on confidence and on a roll following this splendid victory, India stunned Australia at the same venue, which has a big population of South Asian origin, in the semi final on September 22.
Yuvraj was again at his blazing best, belting the Aussie bowlers to all parts of the field in making a 30-ball 70 that included 5 sixes and as many fours, as India piled on 188 for five.
The cocky Aussies were kept on a tight leash by the Indian bowlers led by S Sreesanth, who crucially sent back danger men Mathew Hayden (62) and Adam Gilchrist (22) and restricted them to 173 for 7 to complete a famous victory and reach the summit contest against Pakistan who conquered New Zealand in the other semi final.
The finale was a real edge-of-the-seat contest with India emerging victory by a narrow margin to pocket the winners' prize money of $490,000 that was later enhanced by the Cricket Board's bonus amount of Rs one crore.
Winning the toss and electing to bat, India scored 157 for five and Pakistan came very close to overhauling it in a dramatic finish and finally fell short of the total by 5 runs after looking down and out in the earlier part when they were reduced to 104 for 7 in 16 overs.
Mizbah ul Haq, in the company of the tail enders, rattled the Indians with some splendid late-order hitting in making 43 off 38 balls.
He was the dominant force as Pakistan scored 19 runs off Harbhajan's 17th over, 13 off Sreesanth's 18th and 7 off R P Singh's penultimate over to stand 13 runs short of clinching the title when Joginder Singh commenced the last over in front of a packed and roaring 32,000 crowd at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.
The first ball was a wide and the second was carted for a six by Misbah to increase the suspense to feverish point before he was caught by Sreesanth off the third to bring down the curtains on a memorable match and tournament.
Irfan Pathan was declared the Man of the Final while Pakistan's Shahid Afridi, who made a duck in the match, was named the Man of the Tournament for his consistent displays.
The triumphant Indian team members were later given a tumultuous welcome by the Mumbai fans who braved heavy rains to line up the roads from the airport to the Wankhede Stadium where the victorious team was felicitated by the BCCI.
First Published: May 31, 2009 12:41 IST