As outstanding as the performance was, the build-up to the scenario is nothing short of a movie scene.
In the 18th over, the left-hander had struck Flintoff for two boundaries which ticked off the English all-rounder. Following the end of the over, Flintoff would reach out to Yuvraj for a few exchanges of words.
“I think Freddie bowled two good balls, and he bowled a yorker which I managed to hit for a boundary,” Yuvraj Singh revealed in a conversation with former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen on Instagram Live in 2020.
“Then he (Flintoff) told me that this was a dash shot; he got pretty elaborate. He said, ‘I am gonna cut your throat off,’ Yuvraj added.
The left-hander would reveal his words to Flintoff: “You see this bat in my hand? You know where I am going to hit you with this bat?” Yuvraj told Pietersen.
Six degrees of separation: starring Yuvraj Singh and Stuart Broad
Come the 19th over, Yuvraj Singh took Stuart Board as an outlet to vent the frustration from his confrontation with Andrew Flintoff.
Here is a breakdown of how the over ensued.
18.1: A full-pitched delivery from Stuart Broad to Yuvraj on his leg side, and the left-hander smashed a maximum towards the cow corner.
18.2: A 128-kmph ball with the same line and length as the first ball. And guess what? Yuvraj flicks it again, this time into the crowd beyond the backward square leg.
18.3: Fireworks not stopping at the Kingsmead as Yuvraj Singh swung Stuart Broad’s outside-off delivery straight towards extra cover.
18.4: The fourth six in a row, Yuvraj smashed the full toss delivery from Broad towards backward point.
18:5: While Broad bowled over the wicket, his delivery was towered off towards midwicket. Going down on one knee, Yuvraj Singh coincidentally smashed it above the eyes of Andrew Flintoff.
18:6: Stuart Broad, under pressure, bowled a length towards Yuvraj Singh that the latter anticipated. As gratitude, the left-hander smashed it over wide mid-on.
With this, Yuvraj Singh became the first batter to hit six sixes in T20I cricket, the second in international cricket after Herschelle Gibbs (vs the Netherlands, 2007 ODI World Cup) and the fourth overall (Sir Garfield Sobers and Ravi Shastri – first-class cricket, Herschelle Gibbs – international cricket).
After unleashing his fury, Yuvraj Singh turned his gaze towards Dimitri Mascarenhas and then Andrew Flintoff.
Why Dimitri? Well, it was a case of invariably making amends. Mascarenhas had hit Yuvraj Singh for five sixes in a single over during an ODI series in England in 2007.
“Finally, the monkey was off my back. It’s a game we all will remember for a long time,” Yuvraj said to Pietersen.
And rightly so. The game is remembered for Yuvraj Singh notching the fastest half-century in T20 internationals (12). The southpaw would play a pivotal role in the Indian cricket team going to win the competition and cement himself as one of the greatest players the team has ever produced.
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