Yuvraj 60 takes India to 159/7

Yuvraj 60 takes India to 159/7

Yuvraj Singh finally got back to form with an impressive 60-run knock as India posted a competitive 159 for seven against Australia in an inconsequential Group 2 league encounter of the ICC World T20 here today.

On a slow track, Yuvraj initially struggled before blasting four sixes and five boundaries in a 43-ball knock. It was also his eighth T20 International half-century in 38 matches.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni played the role of second fiddle to perfection, contributing 24 in an 84-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

Dhoni lost the first toss in the tournament and as Ravichandran Ashwin had said yesterday, were forced “swim a tsunami” considering the adverse conditions for batting first on a slow Sher-e-Bangla track.

It wasn’t conducive for strokeplay as the Indian batsmen found out while trying to set a decent target. The Australian slow bowlers did a decent job in these conditions as India managed only 59 in the first 10 overs.

Australia opened their bowling with Brad Hodge and he got success removing the in-form Rohit Sharma (6) with a slider which the player tried to drive but got a thickish outside edge which went to James Muirhead standing at backward point.

Virat Kohli started with a slog sweep off Glenn Maxwell that went for a six and followed it by guiding Mitchell Starc to the third man boundary. But it didn’t last long enough as he tried to hoist leggie Muirhead over long-off but failed to clear Cameron White stationed for that catch. Kohli’s 23 came off 22 deliveries with two fours and a six.

Ajinkya Rahane was gone when Bollinger got a delivery to pitch on the off-middle line, which moved a shade with Rahane trying to steer it down. Brad Haddin held a regulation catch. Rahane scored 19 off 16 balls but couldn’t utilize the opportunity he got due to Shikhar Dhawan’s failure.

India were reeling at 52 for three when Suresh Raina joined Yuvraj.

Yuvraj was nervous from the onset as he was not middling the ball. A couple of times, he even misjudged the singles which could have cost India a wicket.

Raina also looked in trouble as the slowness of the pitch affected his stroke-making. Trying to hit his way out of trouble, the left-hander tried to hoist Maxwell but was caught by Aaron Finch at long-on. Raina managed only six.

Yuvraj finally broke the shackles when Muirhead bowled successive half-trackers which were posted in the deep mid-wicket stands as 17 runs came of that particular over which was the 14th of the innings. The first one bounced more than the second one but both met with the same fate.

Dhoni also got into the act after settling down as he first lifted Bollinger for a boundary over extra-cover and then hooked Starc for a six. Then came the shot of the innings when Yuvraj just stood and hit Starc over deep extra cover for a stunning six.

Yuvraj reached his half-century off 37 balls when he deposited a Watson full-toss over deep square leg for a six.

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