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Yuvraj Singh had just clobbered Delhi Daredevils’ medium pacer Rahul Shukla for four consecutive sixes off the first four legal deliveries he had faced of the final over of the Royal Challengers Bangalore innings. In the final delivery, the beleaguered bowler managed to produce a dot ball by foxing Yuvraj with a slower one.
Shukla had conceded two extras – a wide and a no-ball – and had ended up sending down eight deliveries. But such was the carnage created by Yuvraj, that everyone including the umpires lost count of when the over should have come to an end.
Yuvraj, like a schoolboy pleased after hitting the ball to all corners of the mohalla, wanted to face another delivery and indicated the same. The bowler himself, in a daze, began walking back to his mark, and it even took the umpires a while to realise that the innings was over.
When Yuvraj Singh bats like he did on Tuesday, on way to making an unbeaten 68 off 29, the sheer audacity of the stroke play can mesmerize those witnessing the innings.
Over the course of two consecutive innings – he had scored 83 off 38 balls versus Rajasthan Royals (in a losing cause) – Yuvraj transformed into the match-winner Bangalore believed was worth spending Rs 14 crore on.
Bangalore, after being asked to bat, finished at 186 for four, a target Delhi well short by 16 runs in spite of a fighting 37 off 20 from Kedar Jadhav, thirties from Mayank Agarwal and Kevin Pietersen and a 48 from JP Duminy.
Delhi’s season went from bad to worse, this being their eighth loss in 10 games, while Yuvraj brought life back into the Bangalore’s campaign.
Before the Yuvraj show, the Delhi bowlers were in control of the proceedings and it looked like Bangalore might even struggle to reach 150.
When opener Parthiv Patel was dismissed in the 13th over, Bangalore were 95 for three. The dismissal brought Yuvraj to the wicket.
AB de Villiers, one of the most dangerous batsmen currently, was out two overs later after making 33 off 17. Yuvraj could have walked back to the dugout even before AB if the leading edge to leg-spinner Imran Tahir had not travelled over the point fielder. However, Yuvraj settled down after this and it was not till Tahir came to bowl in the 17th over that he cut loose.
The first ball was a quickish leg-spinner, which Yuvraj defended. The next ball was a similar delivery but Tahir paid the price for straying onto the pads. Yuvraj just used the pace and swept over square leg for his first six. Now, Tahir altered the line to one outside the off-stump and flighted the ball. Yuvraj lofted it over covers for his second six. The third one went over long-off as Tahir again hit the same length. Twenty-one runs were scored off this over.
Fast bowler Mohammed Shami’s next over cost 14 runs and though Sidharth Kaul did well to restrict Yuvraj to just one big shot – a six over deep mid-wicket – the final over from Shukla was yet to come. That over cost Delhi 27 runs, 24 coming off the mighty sixes Yuvraj hit. It also made Bangalore favourites at the break.