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Cricinfo: India v England 2008-09
CricinfoCricinfo: India v England 2008-09

2nd Test: India v England at Mohali - Dec 19-23, 2008,

Yuvraj blitz lights up dull draw

Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh scored a blistering 86 in a fifth-wicket partnership of 153 with Gautam Gambhir to set England an impossible target of 403 on the final day in Mohali. With India already leading by 285 at the end of the day four, and fog delaying the star of play for most of the scheduled first session, one would have expected India’s captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to call for an early declaration. Although most cricket-lovers would have hoped for that to happen and witness the England response for most of the day, Yuvraj’s splendid show to a significant extent, assuaged that disappointment.

Yuvraj continued from where he left off on the fourth day, and succeeded in drawing come aggression from Gambhir too, whose bat had attracted barnacles on day four. He grabbed the initiative with a medley of punchy drives and slogs, including one particularly disdainful six off James Anderson. The last couple of Yuvraj’s sixes came against his old sparring partner Broad and recalled images of that famous over in Durban, when he hit six in a row.

First came an audacious shot, a front-foot, flat-batted bludgeon over mid-on, and then a scoop over backward point. Broad then bowled a clever wide yorker which Yuvraj edged to third man for a single, and Gambhir saw out the over.

However, at the end of the day, neither Yuvraj and Gambhir reached their centuries, which they had initially intended, and with England left to negotiate just 28 overs after India’s declaration, a dull draw was inevitable.