The batting maestro got his maiden half century of the tournament while the stylish south-paw showed his true colours with an unbeaten 52 in India’s huge win.
This win took India back to the top spot with 16 points overtaking Sri Lanka in net run rate.
Tendulkar cracked a 37-ball 60 with nine boundaries and a six while Yuvraj starred with a 22-ball 52 not out with six towering sixes including four in succession and two hits to the ropes.
S Badrinath contributed with 42 (34b, 2x6, 4x4) before being carried away by his teammates after he injured his right hamstring. The tall Yusuf Pathan, too, joined the party with his big hits by contributing a quickfire 10-ball 23 with two fours and as many sixes.
Being put into bat first by South Africa captain Jonty Rhodes, the 50,000 plus crowd in Raipur thundered ‘Sachin, Sachin’ as Tendulkar walked out to bat with his opening partner Virender Sehwag.
This was supposed to be the Tendulkar’s night. Like a man on mission, Tendulkar, whose previous highest score was 36 in the tournament, was determined to put up a good show. As he executed those copybook back-foot punches through covers and the classical straight drive to South African pace legend Makhaya Ntini, the spectators jumped out of their seats in joy. In the next over, Sehwag was sent home by Garnett Kruger.
Tendulkar, however, continued his domination alongside Subramaniam Badrinath. He also hit Thandi Tshabalala for a six over the off-spinner’s head. The duo stitched together 95 runs for the second wicket before Tendulkar went for an extravagant shot over the covers against Monde Zondeki and ended up giving a catch to Tshabalala. Later, Badrinath, too, returned home retired hurt.
Then it was Yuvraj’s show all the way till the end. The south-paw reminded of his 2007 World T20 heroics of six sixes in one over of Stuart Broad when he sent seamer Zander de Bruyn for four continuous hits over the ropes in the 18th over.
At the end of 20th over, India were sitting pretty at 204/3.
Brief scores: India Legends: 204/3 in 20 overs (Sachin Tendulkar 60, Yuvraj Singh 52 not out, S Badrinath 42, Yusuf Pathn 23, Manpreet Singh Gony 16; Monde zondeki 2/35) beat South Africa 148/7 in 20 overs (Andrew Puttick 41, Morne van Wyk 48; Yusuf Pathan 3/34, Yuvraj Singh 2/18). (UNI)