Yuvraj's all-round show helps India seal first T20

Yuvraj Singh plays an aggressive shot Associated Press

Yuvraj Singh's Test credentials may be questionable but there was no questioning his Twenty20 billing after he shone with both bat and ball, and helped India win the first T20 against England, by five wickets, in Pune on December 20.

England were off to a brisk start, at the Subrata Roy Stadium, with Alex Hales and Luke Wright muscling 68 in seven overs for the second wicket.

But Yuvraj's introduction in the ninth over transformed the game. He was the seventh bowler MS Dhoni turned to as India searched for ways to stub the runs, and he immediately delivered.

Five of the previous six overs had been punished for 10 runs or more, but Yuvraj conceded just five singles in his first over. In his next, he had Luke Wright caught at long-off. In his third, he bowled Hales for 56 before claiming England captain Eoin Morgan for five.

England managed 157 in their twenty overs, with Samit Patel scoring 24 and Jos Buttler 33 in the latter end of the innings.

India's openers Ajinkya Rahane and Gautam Gambhir gave them a solid start by stringing together a 42-run opening stand.

After their dismissal, Yuvraj began the onslaught with a 21-ball 38. He attacked left-arm spinner Danny Briggs, who was taken for 18 in his only over of the game.

Soon after, he top-edged a pull off Wright for six and though he connected solidly on the next delivery as well, it found Stuart Meaker on the boundary. MS Dhoni, then, guided India to a comfortable win with 13 balls to spare.

Yuvraj won the Man-of-the-Match award for his all-round show. Dhoni said that Yuvraj's performance was impeccable.

"Yuvraj was brilliant. He bowled really well and at the right pace," Dhoni said. "I felt each and every bowler, apart from Yuvraj, bowled at least one bad over in the game. But I'm overall very happy with the performance."

"And the fielding, which I wanted the team to do well. I thought we did brilliantly.

"The pressure was on the bowlers," he added. "The way Hales started - he went after the bowlers - that was the difficult part. We all know it's a bit easier to score against the new ball on the sub-continent, particularly in India. It was important from the eighth over that we tried to bring the team back into the game."