Yuvraj Singh scored a sparkling 60 for India © Getty Images
Mar 30, 2014
In an inconsequential game at the ICC World T20 2014, India scored 159 for seven against Australia at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur. India are already through to the next round courtesy their three victories, but Australia’s fate has been sealed after Pakistan beat Bangladesh earlier in the day. The Indian innings stuttered as they kept losing wickets early on, but then a sterling show from Yuvraj Singh in the last eight overs powered India to their eventual total.
After winning the toss, George Bailey chose to bowl first. India have chased in all their three games and this presented a different test. Interestingly, India brought in Ajikya Rahane for Shikhar Dhawan, who hasn’t made an impact on the tournament so far. Australia left out James Faulkner and brought in Cameron White.
In the first four overs, Australia tried four different bowlers. In a stunning move, they decided to bring in Brad Hodge’s off-spin in the very first over. Rohit Sharma smashed the first ball for four, but later in the over, he was out while trying to clear the off-side. That was Hodge’s first T20 International wicket.
Thereafter, Virat Kohli and Rahane did stablise the Indian innings. They played calmly and only attacked the lose deliveries. Kohli smashed Glenn Maxwell over mid-wicket for a six in the second over. Rahane also seemed to be in good touch as he walked down the track and laced a nice cover-drive. The duo had taken India to 46 for one in the seventh over, when Kohli holed out to the deep off James Muirhead. Two overs later, Rahane edged Doug Bollinger to the wicketkeeper as he tried to run it to third man. Suresh Raina also hit it straight to the man in the deep.
At 66 for four in the 12th over, India were in a spot of bother. But then, Dhoni walked in and stitched together a good partnership with Yuvraj. Initially, Yuvraj struggled and couldn’t get his strokes right. He even slipped on a two occasions when he was sent back during a tough run. But, then in the 14th over, he smashed two short deliveries from Muirhead into the stands to get going. That was what Yuvraj needed!
Later in the innings, Dhoni also attacked, a feature being his pull for a six off Mitchell Starc. And later, Yuvraj carted him high over cover for six. He then got to his fifty by smashing a full toss from Shane Watson into the stands. It took him 37 balls to get to the mark. Even when bowlers pitched it short, Yuvraj was now ready to go for the pull.
Dhoni’s stay ended when he was bowled by Starc in the penultimate over. But, by then, the partnership had added 84 in seven overs. Yuvraj was dismissed for 60 in the last over when he tried to clear long-off, but was caught on the boundary.
A total of 159 can be challenging on this wicket given its slow nature and the spinners in India’s ranks, but Australia would be happy they have kept India in check.
India 159 for 7 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 23, Yuvraj Singh 60, MS Dhoni 24; Brad Hodge 1 for 13, Glenn Maxwell 1 for 20) vs Australia.
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(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)