It all started in the eleventh over of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) innings when Indian cricket's comeback king Yuvraj Singh came on to the crease against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the event opener on Wednesday. A vintage Yuvraj hammered the RCB bowlers into submission as SRH posted a commendable 207 for 4. On a batting beauty, Yuvraj sent the RCB bowlers to cleaners after Sreenath Aravind dropped a dolly at deep square-leg boundary. Yuvraj was on 26 then and the let-off allowed him to score his fastest IPL half-century off 23 balls. His previous fastest was off 24 balls. Yuvraj's innings had seven fours and three sixes. As Yuvraj went on a rampage, his fans went berserk and showered accolades on social media. The former cricketers and experts too applauded his brutal knock.
"I enjoyed my batting tonight. My batting has been up and down over the couple of years, but I am feeling really good at the moment. I just need to continue this good run forward.
"The comeback into the Indian team has really helped me. I am more free in my mind and I am not worrying anymore about making a comeback. I am just going to play according to the situation and express myself," said Yuvraj after playing a match-winning knock.
The dashing southpaw said the return to form was possible because of plenty of hard work and dedication.
"I have been hitting a lot of balls and practicing a lot. I have been spending more hours in the nets batting. Also, Hyderabad has always been a lucky place for me. I made a comeback when I scored a lot of runs in Hyderabad.
"I feel good about my batting at the moment. Hopefully I will keep doing what I am doing right now," Yuvraj was quoted as saying by IPLT20.com.
He said the Sunrisers could not have asked for a better start to their title defence.
"We started from where we ended. It was a great performance from all the batsmen throughout the innings. The bowlers then came and did the job for the team," Yuvraj said.
"It was an important win for us and we need to take more points at home. If we can get five out of seven wins at home, it will help us to qualify in the last four."
Yuvraj 'dhamakedaar' Singh was the difference between 180 and 207. Yuvi & Cutting covered Hooda's 12 ball 16. #SRHvRCB— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) April 5, 2017
Make no mistake, this is vintage @YUVSTRONG12. He's sent a message to the other teams.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 5, 2017
B'lore started running out of steam after Jadhav's run out. Batting sorely needs Kohli & ABD! But how good have Hyd'bad been? Champion stuff— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) April 5, 2017
It was just a trailer!!! #yuvrajsingh— Shruti ? (@shruti0666) April 5, 2017
He's gonna hit his first ipl century soon...
RCB's problem was that the batsmen who got it did not stick around long enough to create those partnerships that were absolutely essential to haul in the challenging total. Chris Gayle can be destructive on his day but he departed after scoring a typical 32. Same was the story for the rest, with Mandeep (24), Head (30) and Kedar Jadhav (31) all getting starts and not continuing.
RCB next take on Delhi Daredevils on April 9 while SRH will play Gujarat Lions on the same day.
(With inputs from PTI)