The India vs England match in the inaugural ICC T20 World Cup in 2007 was a fiery encounter for several reasons, but nothing compares to Yuvraj Singh’s six sixes off Stuart Broad’s over.
The Indian all-rounder walked into bat after Chris Tremlett dismissed Robin Uthappa. Soon after his arrival, Yuvraj was involved in an altercation with Andrew Flintoff, which eventually led to the southpaw going berserk against the then 21-year-old Broad.
Recalling the incident, Yuvraj explained how Flintoff tried to get on his nerves after he hit the England all-rounder for two boundaries.
"I think Freddie bowled two good balls, and he bowled a yorker which I managed to hit for a boundary,” Yuvraj told Kevin Pietersen in an Instagram live chat.
“Then he told me that this was a dash shot; he got pretty elaborative. He said, ‘I am gonna cut your throat off,’ and then I replied saying you see this bat in my hand? You know where I am gonna hit you with this bat?" Yuvraj told Pietersen.
"I remember I was so angry when I hit Broadie for six sixes, I looked at Dimitri Mascarenhas, and then I looked at Freddie.
"Mascarenhas had hit me for five sixes during an ODI match, so that is why I looked at him first. It was one of those games which we all will remember," Yuvraj added.
By the time Yuvraj entered the field, India had lost just three wickets and had put 155 runs in 17 overs. But the enraged all-rounder was fired up after the exchange of words with Flintoff, and Broad became the victim of his carnage.
The flamboyant all-rounder started his innings with a single off Andrew Flintoff’s delivery before hitting the Englishman for two back-to-back boundaries. Following the end of the 18th over, Yuvraj had scored 14 runs off six deliveries. On came Stuart Broad and the cookie crumbled for England.
Yuvraj went from scoring 14 off six balls to scoring a half-century in just 12 deliveries. This, to date, is the fastest half-century in Twenty20 cricket, be it domestic or international. He also became the first Indian and only the second player after South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs to hit six sixes in an over.
Yuvraj Singh six sixes in T20 World Cup: Ball by ball
After the first four sixes, Yuvraj, speaking in the 22 Yarns podcast, said that Paul Collingwood asked Stuart Broad to change his line, but the England quick kept bowling into the legs.
"Luckily, the first ball I hit (off Broad) went out of the park,” said Yuvraj.
“The second ball I hit went into the crowd. The third ball I hit over point, where I hadn't even hit a boundary in my career. Collingwood came and told Broad to keep bowling yorkers to me outside off-stump because the off-side was big.
Look out in the crowd!— ICC (@ICC) September 19, 2021
On this day in 2007, @YUVSTRONG12 made #T20WorldCup history, belting six sixes in an over 💥 pic.twitter.com/Bgo9FxFBq6
"But Broad thought of bowling into my legs. So when he decided to do that, I knew he was in trouble. The fifth ball hit the toe of my bat; it was a small boundary that went over Flintoff. The sixth ball I knew he has to bowl a yorker. So I was ready to hit it straight, and it was in my arc,” Yuvraj added.
Here’s how the over panned out:
18.1: A full-pitched delivery and Yuvraj went to his leg side. TV measurement showed the ball travelled 111 metres, but no one will ever know the exact distance as it landed outside the ground.
18.2: Same line, same length and Yuvraj flicked it into the crowd beyond backward square leg.
18.3: Delivery towards outside off, and Yuvraj swings his bat as the ball goes over extra cover.
18.4: A poor full-toss outside off was a welcome delivery for the Indian all-rounder. He steered it over the backward point.
18:5: Bowling over the wicket, Broad went with a similar line, again - right on Yuvraj’s legs. The result was the same as the Indian went down on one knee and smashed it over midwicket.
18:6: It seemed like Yuvraj anticipated the length. Moved away from the stumps, made some room and smashed it over wide mid-on.
Yuvraj went on to score a 16-ball 58 as India posted 218/4 on the board. Coincidentally, the Indian southpaw was dismissed by Flintoff in the final over. In turn, the Indian bowlers managed to restrict England to 200/6, and India won the match by 18 runs.
Featured photo: AFP / Alexander Joe