B'day boy Yuvraj takes India to a 6-wicket win

An excellent batting display by India all-rounder and birthday boy Yuvraj Singh (60*) took India to a comprehensive 6-wicket victory in 2nd T20 match.

updated: December 12, 2009 17:14 IST
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India's famed batsmen unleashed a stunning exhibition of strokeplay to achieve the highest successful run chase in Twenty20 history as the hosts defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets in the second game and level the two-match series 1-1 here on Saturday.

After the visitors posted a competitive 206 for seven, the Indians rode on a superlative batting show by Virender Sehwag (64), Dhoni (46) and birthday boy Yuvraj Singh (60 not out) to overhaul the target with five balls to spare in a thrilling floodlit contest.

Sehwag set up the run chase with his characteristic flair while Yuvraj provided the finishing touches with a ruthless assault to celebrate his birthday in front of his home crowd in style.

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The stunning batting display overshadowed yet another sloppy fielding performance by the hosts who spilled as many as five catches for the second successive game.

Yuvraj notched up his fifth T20 half century and his breathtaking 25-ball unbeaten 60 contained as many as five sixes and three fours. He brought about the winning runs with a six.

It was a merciless assault on the hapless Lankan bowlers as the Indian batsmen virtually tore them to shreds much to the delight of a capacity crowd which lustily cheered every shot.

India's total of 211 for four now surpassed the earlier highest run chase of 208 for two which South Africa made against the West Indies in Johannesburg in September 2007.

With the T20 series ending in a 1-1 draw, the focus will now shift to the five-match one-day series beginning in Rajkot from December 15.

The Indian innings got off to a blazing start with Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir putting on 50 runs in quick time with the former being the dominating partner.

The partnership came to an end when Gambhir (21) was run out as he went half way down the track but could not regain his crease in time.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni joined the action after Gambhir's departure and the capacity crowd at the PCA stadium was treated to an exhibition of stunning strokeplay as he and Sehwag tore into the Lankan bowlers.

Sehwag seemed to be in devastating form as he notched up his half century in just 27 balls while Dhoni was equally aggressive at the other end.

The duo stitched 58 runs for the second wicket before Lasith Malinga provided the breakthrough by evicting the dangerous Sehwag with Kaushalya Weeraratne latching on to a well-judged catch in the deep. Sehwag's 38-ball 64 contained seven boundaries and three sixes.

Birthday boy Yuvraj Singh then came to the crease and celebrated the day by clobbering a couple of effortless sixes and together with Dhoni took India closer to the Lankan total.

If the Indians dropped five catches in the first game in Nagpur, there seemed to be no significant improvement as they continued to spill catches much to the embarrassment of new fielding consultant Mike Young.

Electing to bat, the Lankans lost the dangerous Tillakaratne Dilshan (1) early with Ishant Sharma producing a gem of a delivery to knock down his leg stump.

But the seasoned pair of Sanath Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara were undeterred by the early blow as they launched a savage assault on the Indian bowlers who compounded their misery by bowling a poor line and length on a track where the ball came on the bat nicely.

Sangakkara, who was at his devastating best in the first game in Nagpur with a quickfire 37-ball 78, was lucky to get a reprieve when on 28 with Ravindra Jadeja dropping him on the fence with Yusuf Pathan being the unlucky bowler.

Pathan, however, had something to cheer about a couple of overs later when he had the dangerman Jayasuriya (31).

Sangakkara completed his half century off just 29 balls but could not survive for long after achieving the milestone with Yuvraj accounting for his dismissal. His entertaining 31-ball 59 was laced with eight boundaries and two sixes.

Veteran Mahela Jayawardene (12) could not survive for long while Kaushalya Weeraratne was run out for three as the visitors were reduced to 167 for seven by the 17th over.

It was then left to Jayasinghe and Chamara Kapugedera to take the visitors to a respectable total and the duo posted the 150 of the innings in 13.5 overs.