Comeback king Yuvraj guides India to victory

Only T20: India beat Australia by six wickets.

A terrific return to the team: Yuvraj Singh

Scorecard
| Schedule | Tendulkar special


RAJKOT:
On a day eclipsed by the announcement of Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement date, an obliteration of no less severity was carried out by Yuvraj Singh at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium. The southpaw smashed a 35-ball 77, including five sixes and eight fours, in his comeback match for India, as the hosts chased down Australia’s impressive 201 in a thrilling last-over finish to the solitary Twenty20 game.

Amid the constant threat of a downpour, all that rained on the ground were monster hits, first by Aaron Finch (89, 52b) and then, just when it appeared that the required rate had spiraled beyond redress, by Yuvraj. It looked all over for India when Virat Kohli (29) was the fourth top-order batsman out, with the score on exactly 100 in the 12th over, the home side having already lost the dangerous Rohit Sharma (8), Shikhar Dhawan (32) and Suresh Raina (19). 

Yuvraj had other ideas. He got going with a flick off Nathan Coulter-Nile and deftly guided Clint McKay to the third-man fence. With the asking rate still in rapid escalation, drastic action was the need of the hour. And Yuvraj readily obliged, taking 18 from McKay’s 14th over - including a flicked six that Shane Watson almost caught at long-on - and 20 from the usually tight James Faulkner’s 17th  of the innings.

Yuvraj raced to his fifty in just 25 balls and India were left with 29 to win from the last three. With the left-hander in such form, that turned out to be a formality, and victory was realised with two deliveries to spare, for once skipper Dhoni relegated to a secondary role with an unbeaten 21-ball 24. The pair had added an unbroken 102 in just 8.3 overs. Also deserving of an honourable mention are R Vinay Kumar (4-0-26-3) and Ravindra Jadeja (4-0-23-1) who imposed some decorum when Australia were tearing away in their first innings.

Gruesome


The visitors were gruesome from the get-go after Dhoni sent them in. Finch and debutant Nic Maddinson went after the seaming Kumars, forcing the Indian captain to call in his trump card R. Ashwin as early as in the third over of the innings. The off-spinner failed miserably, conceding 17 as Finch made room to punish him repeatedly through cover.

Ishant Sharma’s lively pace was greeted by a ferocious pulled six by Maddinson. The left-handed debutant looked untouchable in his 15-ball 34, before heaving across the line and losing his off-stump to Bhuvneshwar.

Finch continued to pound Ishant as Australia reached 74/1 at the end of the mandatory Powerplay. A double jolt was then effected by Vinay Kumar to send back Shane Watson and skipper Bailey, for a three-ball duck, in the eighth over.

If that were possible, the wickets worsened India’s situation.

Million dollar man


For in came Glenn Maxwell. The million-dollar man took 24 from an Ashwin over, sending him out of the attack with figures of 2-0-41-0, leading Dhoni to ring in another change. Virat Kohli revved into action with the ball, but the result was the same as Maxwell’s acceleration attained logic-defying proportions, the innings 100 coming up in the 10th over.

Finch, meanwhile, had reeled in a lightning half-century off just 29 balls, and once Ravindra Jadeja, the pick of the bowlers, had Maxwell caught by Ishant within inches of the long-on boundary, the onus of a big total rested firmly with Finch.

Vinay Kumar’s stunning reflex catch off his own full-toss claimed Finch in the 17th over. And the last four overs yielded just 29 as India somewhat arrested the flow of runs. Faulkner’s last-ball six assured a score in excess of 200, a stiff target rendered powerless thanks to the comeback man.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

As two of the most glamorous sides in the Indian T20 league, the focus of the match between Mumbai and Bangalore will invariably be on the middle-order… More »

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »