I wanted to bat till the end, says elated Yuvraj

Yuvraj Singh scored his highest T20 international score (72) on Friday against Pakistan to guide India to a series-levelling 11-run victory, and said his determination to stay till the end helped him make runs.

“I just wanted to stay till the end. In the previous two games, I hurried up a bit. Here, I got an opportunity to bat from the seventh over, so I thought I’ll try and get in, get set, and then start hitting. I didn’t have a good net session yesterday and initially I was just trying to settle in. I thought it’s very important for me to bat in the last five overs,” said Yuvraj, who was adjudged man of the match.

In the 19th over, Yuvraj hammered Saeed Ajmal for three sixes in a row, and he explained the strategy of targeting Pakistan’s best T20 bowler. “In the last match their best bowler, Umar Gul, hadn’t bowled in the first six overs. This time he did, so Dhoni and I knew that one over in the death will be  bowled by a spinner, and we thought we’d target him,” he said.

There was also praise for pacers Ashok Dinda and Ishant Sharma, who bowled excellently in the death overs. Dinda’s first spell read 2-0-24-0, but the Bengal pacer returned to register an impressive 2-0-12-3, a spell that effectively sealed the match in favour of India.

“Death bowlers have a difficult job. Batsmen are set and trying to swing. Dinda bowled really well, he got his yorkers in. Bhuvneshwar also carried on well from the last game. He’s a new young talent for India and he’ll only get better,” said Yuvraj.

Though they lost the match, Pakistan skipper Mohammad Hafeez was quite happy about the fact that his team showed great spirit while chasing a near-200 total.

“We didn’t bowl well in the last 10 overs and allowed them a few extra runs. But we showed a lot of positivity while chasing, and there also have been positives like the bowling of (Mohammad) Irfan.”

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