Tigers aim to upset Pakistan
Yuvraj Singh smashed English fast bowler Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over as India won by 18 runs to stay alive in the Twenty20 World Championships here on Wednesday.
India, who would have crashed out of the tournament had they lost, piled up 218-4 after electing to take first strike and then restricted England to 200-6 on a rousing night at the jam-packed Kingsmead.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh take on high-flying Pakistan today in their last Super Eights match at the Newlands Stadium in Cape Town.
The match, inconsequential for both sides, will be telecast live on ESPN from 6pm Bangladesh time.
Left-hander Yuvraj's feat in the 19th over gave him the fastest 50 in the tournament off just 12 balls, eight deliveries less than what Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful achieved against the West Indies.
Broad's first two balls were swung over fine leg, the third over cover, the fourth cut over point, the fifth pulled to mid-wicket and the last into the stands at long-on.
It was only the fourth instance in top cricket that six sixes were hit in an over after Garfield Sobers and Ravi Shastri did it in first-class cricket and Herschelle Gibbs in the World Cup earlier this year.
Yuvraj finished with 58 off 16 balls with seven sixes and three boundaries to set up India towards victory in a match they had to win to stay in contention for the semi-finals.
India must, however, beat South Africa here on Thursday if they are to prevent New Zealand and the home team from taking the two semifinal spots from Group E of the Super Eights.
If India win on Thursday, it will force a three-way tie in which net run-rates will determine the two semifinalists.
England ended the tournament with their third successive defeat in the second round and now head to Sri Lanka for a five-match one-day series starting on October 1.
Yuvraj said he was reminded of the five sixes Dimitri Mascarenhas hit off his bowling during the sixth one-day international at the Oval in London earlier this month.
"I got more phone calls after that over than when I get for scoring a century," Yuvraj said after being named the man of the match.
"So I decided to do something about it and luckily I got my chance today. I just went for the shots and they came off.
"But what is important is that we are still in with a chance of making the semi-finals and hopefully we can play as well against South Africa."
Yuvraj's blistering knock came after openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir set the platform with a 136-run stand by the 15th over.
Sehwag made 68 off 52 balls with three sixes and four boundaries. His Delhi teammate Gambhir hit 58 off 41 balls with seven fours and a six.
Gambhir began the run glut in the fifth over by smashing Broad over the mid-wicket fence for the first six of the innings.
Sehwag welcomed Mascarenhas into the attack by slicing a six over point and cut Chris Tremlett over third man for his second big shot.
Sehwag's third six was over point against England captain Paul Collingwood in the 10th over, two balls after Mascarenhas floored a skier at third man.
England made a spirited reply to the imposing target, reaching 96-1 by the 10th over after Vikram Solanki made 43 off 31 balls and Kevin Pietersen chipped in with 39 off 23.
England needed 52 runs off the last three overs, but left-arm seamer Rudra Pratap Singh cut short the challenge by removing Owais Shah and Collingwood in the 18th over.