Unheard Stories: A whisper that raged a southpaw

image-l88lykerYuvraj Singh in action against England

Let us turn the clock back to 15 years ago, in 2007 on the same date. India was taking on England in the first ever T20 World Cup in South Africa. The match was taking place at Durban and India was batting first.

India got a good start to their innings as openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir stitched a 136 runs partnership in just 14.4 overs. After this India lost three wickets and by the end of the 17th over their score was 159 runs. 

That Whisper

image-l88m5lhgAndrew Flintoff taking a dig at Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni were out in the middle for India and the English skipper, Paul Collingwood handed the ball to Andrew Flintoff for the 18th over. 

12 runs came off the 18th over, but Yuvraj hit two gorgeous fours off the 4th and 5th deliveries which did not please Flintoff. As the over ended Flintoff walked up to Yuvraj Singh and had a word.

From the viewer’s point of view, there was a heated exchange between the two players. Yuvraj was seen raising his bat in response to Flintoff’s words. 

But little did the Englishman know that he had lit a fire within the Indian southpaw. Exactly what did Freddie say that enraged Yuvi?

If Yuvi’s version of the story is to be believed, Flintoff started taking a dig at him saying that the shots he played were not impressive. Yuvi being Yuvi replied in his own way, to which Flintoff had his reply ready. He said to Yuvraj to meet him out of the ground where he will cut his throat off. 

The Umpire intervened and separated the players, but Yuvi was more than pumped up. His only intention was now to put every ball out of the ground. 

The historic 19th over

image-l88m8cgdYuvi hit the last six over wide Long-On, where Flintoff was fielding

With Yuvraj Singh pumped up and ready to take off, it was Stuart Broad who was destined to face the fire. He was handed the 19th over and with the very first ball, Yuvraj made his intentions clear. 

A full pitched delivery and Yuvi thumped it over mid-wicket and the ball kept going. Broad failed to find a way to stop the southpaw and Yuvi took full advantage of the pressure the young bowler was under. The last ball of the over was picked up by Yuvi over wide long-on. Guess who was fielding there? Yes, Andrew Flintoff. A fitting reply to the feud started by the all rounder.

It also meant that Yuvraj brought up the quickest half-century in the history of international cricket in just 12 balls. 

Impact of Yuvraj’s destructive batting

Courtesy of Yuvraj’s six sixes India was able to post a total of 218 runs on the board. England did a great job while chasing and were able to reach 200 runs in their 20 overs. 

A victory for India by just 18 runs in a high scoring match. So, seeing the margin of victory just try and think if the results would have been different if Flintoff had not picked the fight that day.

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