On a day when India went into mourning after Sachin Tendulkar announced his retirement, the cricket fans around the country needed a lift.
Yuvraj Singh played a stunning innings to help India past Australia in the lone T20 international in Rajkot
The Rajkot crowd were entertained from start to finish as Australia, asked to bat first, scored a massive 201 for seven in their 20 overs, with Aaron Finch coming to the fore courtesy a brilliant 52-ball 89.
India wavered in their reply for a bit, before Yuvraj, with the stage set for a stunning innings, just did what he does best -- win limited-overs matches for India.
The graceful left-hander scored an unbeaten 77 from just 35 balls (8x4, 5x6), and in the company of skipper M.S. Dhoni (24 n.o., 21b, 2x4), took India to the target, as the hosts finished on an impressive 202 for four in 19.4 overs for their highest ever T20 international chase.
India needed a smashing start from their openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, but it was not to be as the former fell in just the second over, nicking one off Clint McKay to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.
Dhawan and Suresh Raina settled things down a bit with a nice little partnership (38 in 22) but wickets kept falling for India at regular intervals.
Raina (19, 13b, 2x4, 1x6) holed out to Shane Watson off Nathan Coulter-Nile before another 30-run, between Virat Kohli and Dhawan (32, 19b, 5x4), ended with the latter falling.
However, despite losing three wickets, India still had Yuvraj Singh, M.S. Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja, apart from Kohli at the crease with the score on 80 in 8.3 overs.
A Kohli (29, 22b, 2x4, 1x6) special would have been perfect for this moment, but the right-hander just could not make full use of a decent start, finding James Faulkner at long-on off McKay, who picked up two wickets, but went for 50 runs from his four overs.
It was all now up to the comeback man Yuvraj and skipper Dhoni, and the duo made a game of it, Watson's brilliant catch attempt in the deep notwithstanding, with Yuvraj looking like his old self, as classy as ever, slaying the Australian bowlers with some sheer batting brilliance.
Led by Yuvraj, Indian brought the target down to a makeable, yet difficult, 49 from the last four overs, before that blade from the left-hander did some more of the talking as the equation came down to 29 from 18 balls.
It was easy from there for the experienced duo, who put on an unbeaten 102 in 8.3 overs, as India began the limited-overs series on a winning note.
The first innings saw Australia start the innings in a blaze of glory with the Indian bowlers tonked around the ground with disdain.
The first six Powerplay overs yielded a massive 74 runs as Aaron Finch and Nic Maddinson began with great intent. Maddinson would fall a little before the Powerplay overs finished, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (three for 35) castling the opener, who smashed 34 runs from just 16 balls (6x4, 1x6).
India, a little stunned by the early onslaught, fought their way back with two more quick wickets in the same eighth over of R Vinay Kumar, who would end up with pretty good figures of 4-0-26-3.
Vinay first trapped Shane Watson in front of the wicket, before George Bailey holed out in the deep for a duck. That left Australia on 84 for three in a little over seven overs, with the in-form Finch still very much in the mood.
Finch needed someone to stay with him at the other end for a bit, and it came in the mould of Glenn Maxwell, who not only kept Finch company, but smashed a few in some style as well.
Maxwell and Finch put on 40 from just 3.4 overs, with the former scoring a quickfire 13-ball 27 as his innings was all about sixes, with four of them raining on India.
R Ashwin was the one to feel Finch and Maxwell's wrath as the Indian off-spinner went for a massive 41 runs in just two overs.
The innings was all really about Finch, apart from the other two cameos from Maddinson and Maxwell, with the Australian opener, who smashed a stunning century in England not so long ago, just picking off the Indian bowlers with ease and some scary brutality.
With Finch and Maxwell at the crease, Australia looked well on course for a score of 220-230, but India came back brilliantly with the ball, particularly in the final four overs, giving away just 29 runs, as Australia lost their way a bit. Not too much, though, as they went past the 200-run mark with a six off the last ball from Ishant Sharma.
However, with Yuvraj deciding to catch fire, no target was going to be enough.
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