September 19 is a golden day if one is a Yuvraj Singh fan. On this day, the left-hander set the stage on fire by achieving a feat achieved by only three players in 130 years of cricket. The setting was the Twenty20 World Cup held in South Africa in Durban. The clash was the super-six encounter involving India and England. Yuvraj's reputation as a clean striker and one who could take the game away in the blink of an eye was already established among cricketing circles. However, in the 2007 World T20, he had not set the world on fire yet. There was a buzz that something special was going to happen against England, an opponent whom Yuvraj had tremendous success in the past.
India chose to bat and they were given a great start thanks to Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag. Both openers stitched a 136-run stand for the opening wicket with Sehwag smashing 58 and Gambhir hammering 68. However, following their dismissals, there was a stutter in the middle overs. In stepped Yuvraj. The left-hander got off the mark with a boundary off Chris Tremlett and then proceeded to blast Andrew Flintoff for two consecutive boundaries.
Following the end of the over, there was a heated exchange between Yuvraj and Flintoff. Dhoni had to restrain him. This fired up Yuvraj and he proceeded to vent out his frustration in the most brutal way. Prior to the clash in Durban, Yuvraj was once hit for five consecutive sixes by Dimiti Mascarenhas at The Oval and this factor, combined with the Flintoff aggression, made Yuvraj motivated to humiliate England.
Stuart Broad, who was just taking his first steps in international cricket, was tasked to bowl the 19th over. Yuvraj was on strike. The first ball was full and just outside off, Yuvraj cleared the front leg and launched the delivery over wide long on for the first six in the over. The second ball was a full ball on the pads and Yuvraj swatted it away to deep backward square leg for a second consecutive six.
Broad now was feeling the pressure and Yuvraj was in the zone. The third ball was slanted wide outside off but Yuvraj hammered an inside-out lofted shot that sailed over wide long off. Broad, now clearly nervous, switched to round the wicket. It did not make a difference. Broad bowled a wide full toss outside off and Yuvraj creamed it over deep point for a fourth consecutive six.
The bowler's mind was now scrambled. Broad did not know whether to bowl over or round the wicket. After some deliberations, belatedly, he decided to come over the wicket again. The fifth ball was again a length ball and Yuvraj clobbered it over long leg for the fifth six of the over. History was in the beckoning. It seemed nothing could stop Yuvraj.
The sixth ball was similar to the first, full but this time on the middle and leg stump line. Yuvraj lined it up and deposited it over wide long on to create history. Yuvray became the fourth player after Ravi Shastri, Sir Garfield Sobers and Herschelle Gibbs to hit six sixes in one over. Shastri and Sobers had achieved it in a first-class match and the bowlers were Tilak Raj and Malcolm Nash respectively. Gibbs achieved it in the 2007 World Cup match against Netherlands in St Kitts and the unlcuky bowler was Daan van Bunge.
In the process, Yuvraj also smashed a fifty off 12 balls and it remains the fastest Twenty20 century till date. For better measure, Yuvraj hit Flintoff as well for his seventh six and he was dismissed for 58 off 16 balls. India reached 218/4 and England fell short by 18 runs.
India went on to win the 2007 World T20 but Yuvraj had provided a moment for Indian fans that would go down in cricketing folklore as one of the greatest moments in the sports' history. 12 years later, every time a cricketing fan watches Yuvraj's achievements, the excitement and happiness only increases.