As Yuvraj Singh and Stuart Broad come face to face in the 2012 T20 World Cup on Sunday, the mind goes back to the inaugural championship five years ago when the flamboyant Indian took the towering Englishman to the cleaners in what was an unforgettable six-ball blitz.
Yuvraj plundered Broad for six sixes in an over that drew parallels with a similar feat by three other batsmen - Gary Sobers vs Malcolm Nash (Nottinghamshire vs Glamorgan in 1968), Ravi Shastri against Tilak Raj (Mumbai vs Baorda in 1985) and Herschelle Gibbs became the first batsman to scores six sixes in One-Day International (ODI) when he savaged Netherlands’ Dan Van Bunge in the World Cup earlier in 2007.
Yuvraj’s feat came a few months after Gibbs’s plunder - on September 19, 2007 in a day-nighter at Kingsmead, Durban. Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat. Gautam Gambhir (58) and Virender Sehwag (68) provided the platform with a 136-run opening wicket stand. Both openers fell within a space of seven runs and then one-drop Robin Uthappa (6) fell quickly as India were reduced to 155 for three. It was in this scenario that Yuvraj walked out to join his captain in the middle with a minimum of 20 balls left in the Indian innings.
Yuvraj’s unleashed his phenomenal firepower in the 19th over, bowled by Broad. And this is how the massacre happened:
18.1 overs: The first ball went over the cow corner and out of the ground!
18.2 overs: A flick of the legs, and the ball sailed over square-leg and into the crowd.
18.3 overs: Yuvraj gave himself room and bludgeoned it over extra-cover.
18.4 overs: A full toss, and Yuvraj creamed it over backward point.
18.5 overs: Yuvraj went on one knee to hoist it over midwicket.
18.6 overs: The last ball was thumped over wide mid-on. Sixth six of the over - Mission accomplished! It also brought the fastest-ever 50 in T20 cricket – off 12 balls!
More than half of the Indian team that played in the match in which Yuvraj made T20 history will be in action on Sunday. In sharp contrast, only Broad and Luke Wright are the two sole survivors from the English team that played in the match. One thing is for sure: the atmosphere will be electric should Yuvraj get the opportunity to bat against the English captain.
(H Natarajan, formerly All India Deputy Sports Editor of the Indian Express and Senior Editor with Cricinfo/Wisden, is the Executive Editor of CricketCountry.com. A prolific writer, he has written for many of the biggest newspapers, magazines and websites all over the world. A great believer in the power of social media, he can be followed on Facebook at facebook.com/H.Natarajan and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/hnatarajan)