India's 'Yuvraj' humbles English in Durban

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Banglore, Sep 20: Yuvraj Singh became the first player to hit six sixes in an over at the Twenty 20 World Cup at Durban on Wednesday, spearheading India to and 18-run win over England at the jam-packed Kingsmead. Yuvraj smashed fast bowler Stuart Broad for 36 runs in the 19th over sending India to a total of 218 for four from their 20 overs.

The left-hander's feat in the 19th over gave him the fastest 50 in the tournament off just 12 balls, eight deliveries less than what Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful achieved against the West Indies.

It was Stuart Board who bowled England's fateful 19th over. Board's first two balls were swung over fine leg, the third long-off, the fourth cut over point, the fifth pulled to mid-wicket and the last into the stands at long-on. It was only the fourth instance in top cricket that six sixes were hit in an over after Garfield Sobers and Ravi Shastri did it in first-class cricket and Herschelle Gibbs in the World Cup earlier this year.


After reaching his half-century off a record 12 balls, Yuvraj was eventually out for 58. He hit three fours and seven sixes .

Earlier India's innings was kick-started with a stand of 136 by Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag.

Sehwag made 68 off 52 balls with three sixes and four boundaries. His Delhi team-mate Gambhir hit 58 off 41 balls with seven fours and a six.

Gambhir began the run glut in the fifth over by smashing Broad over the mid-wicket fence for the first six of the innings. Sehwag welcomed Dimitri Mascarenhas into the attack by slicing a six over point and cut Chris Tremlett over third man for his second big shot.

England, who were eliminated from the race for a semi-final place when South Africa beat New Zealand in Wednesday's earlier match, replied with 200 for six.

England's reply smouldered without catching fire. Darren Maddy (29) and Vikram Solanki (43) shared 53 for the first wicket and the best of the rest of their batting was Kevin Pietersen's 39. England needed 52 runs off the last three overs, but left-arm seamer Rudra Pratap Singh cut short the challenge by removing Owais Shah and Collingwood in the 18th over.

Yuvraj Singh was declared the man of the match. Yuvraj said he was reminded of the five sixes Dimitri Mascarenhas hit off his bowling during the sixth one-day international at the Oval in London earlier this month."I got more phone calls after that over than when I get for scoring a century," Yuvraj said after being named the man of the match. "So I decided to do something about it and luckily I got my chance today. I just went for the shots and they came off. But what is important is that we are still in with a chance of making the semi-finals and hopefully we can play as well against South Africa."

India, who lost their first match to New Zealand must beat South Africa on Thursday to stay in contention for the semi-finals from group E.

If India win on Thursday, it will fforce a three-day tie in which net run races wuill determine the two semifinalists. New Zealand and South Africa top the group with two wins each, while England have already been knocked out of the semi-final race after losing their first two matches.

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