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The Full Monty

Recalling the night when Yuvraj Singh did something extraordinary

Left-handed cricket batsman hitting the ball as the opposition player ducks to save himself.
Michael L Butler — The black Kiwi guy is at short leg. In the face of the storm. [Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 on Wikimedia Commons]

A player can’t feel prouder than representing their country on the world stage. But, sometimes, the pressure of the occasion can get to them. Especially when the opposition has their noses ahead.

In cricket, sledging is a common practice players use to disturb the concentration of the opposition players.

Aussies are great at it. Over the years, they have mastered the skill of sledging. They can get onto the nerves of opposition players with their on-field banter. But it’s a discussion for another day.

This story is about what happened on 19th September 2007 at Kingsmead in Durban, South Africa. One young Indian player showed the world how sledging can backfire.

The Setup

It was the inaugural T20 world cup, and the stage was set up for a thrilling encounter between India and England.

T20 is the shortest format of cricket. Each team plays 20-over innings. One over contains six deliveries (think pitches in baseball). But, unlike baseball, the bowler (think pitcher) changes after an over. The team batting first tries to score as many runs as possible in their quota of 20 overs. The team batting second then tries to chase the target set by the other team.

India won the toss and elected to bat first. In the 18th over of the Indian innings, Yuvraj Singh had hit a couple of deliveries from the English bowler, Andrew Flintoff, for consecutive fours.

Think of a four as a home run with the ball bouncing at least once before crossing the boundary.

Flintoff sledges Yuvraj

Flintoff, a bowling legend in his own regard, didn’t like getting smacked like that. After he completed the over, Flintoff came towards Yuvraj and said “something.”

A few words were exchanged between the two players, but the umpires intervened before the situation could go out of hand.

Years later, Yuvraj disclosed Flintoff issued a threat to him and said, “Come here, I will rip your neck off.”

Yuvraj replied, “You know where my bat would go?” 🙂

The aftermath of the sledge

Stuart Broad, a youngster at the time, bowled the 19th over. Yuvraj was on strike. What transpired throughout the next six deliveries was nothing short of extraordinary.

Pumped after his altercation with Flintoff, Yuvraj hit Broad for six consecutive sixes in the 19th over. It was the first time someone did it in a T20 international match.

Could there have been a better occasion to do this than the world cup? I don’t know.

“The Full Monty” is a term coined for hitting six sixes in an over. This feat has been accomplished only nine times in two hundred years of the game’s history. Yuvaraj was the first batsman to do it in an international T20 match.

Clean striking at its best

Yuvraj was always a clean striker of the ball, the cleanest there has ever been. What made those six sixes special was that he hit them in separate directions all over the ground. And each one of them was a mammoth hit.

India put a formidable score of 218 runs on the board in their 20 overs. The English fought well, but India went on to win the game by 18 runs. Those six sixes turned out to be the difference between the two teams.

Five days later, India defeated its archrivals, Pakistan, in a thrilling final. India became the first T20 world champion.

Enjoy the highlights below featuring Flintoff shaking his head after the second six. 😂

YouTube Video

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Gaurav Jain

Gaurav Jain

I have three TVs, two cars, and one wife.

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