The clash between Toronto Nationals and Brampton Wolves was billed simply as Yuvraj Singh vs Shahid Afridi, and boy was the Toronto crowd entertained as the two old warhorses battled it out once again.
Brampton Wolves posted a mammoth 222-6 thanks to George Munsey and Babar Hayat which meant that the Toronto Nationals had their work cut out. Yuvraj walked out to bat with the score at 75-2, and he took us down memory lane with an inspirational 50 off 22 balls. It was Durban all over again, vintage Yuvraj picking up the ball early and depositing it in the stands with the utmost elegance.
Heinrich Klaasen was at the other end, giving Yuvraj some solid support, but it was the Indian that kept the crowd on their feet. The stands were packed and the crowd was at its loudest, with "Yuvi, Yuvi" chants reverberating around the ground.
The climax was reached when Afridi came on to bowl to Yuvraj, a blast from the past for Indian and Pakistani fans. Half the crowd was chanting for Yuvraj and the other half for Afridi, and the battle was just as intense on the field.
Yuvraj worked Afridi for a couple of singles and hit a couple of boundaries as well, but the leggie kept things in control at his end.
It looked like it would be Yuvraj's day; he was timing the ball sweetly and picking his spots with ease. As wickets started to fall at the other end, the southpaw started to feel the pressure and went hell for leather, smashing two sixes to bring up his fifty. However, he gave away his wicket attempting a third big hit in the over.
As soon as Yuvraj's wicket fell, things went downhill for the Toronto Nationals and the asking rate began to go out of hand. The Wolves pulled things back with wickets towards the end of the innings.
Afridi was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with a wicket and an economy of just 7.25, while the rest of the bowlers went for more than 10 runs an over. In the end, Brampton won the match by 11 runs, maintaining their unbeaten start to the tournament.
For Toronto, things looked promising when Yuvraj was at the crease, however, their over-reliance on the Indian legend eventually led to their downfall. Unfortunately, even Brendon McCullum was unable to provide fireworks at the top, putting even more pressure on the likes of Yuvraj and Klaasen.
It was a great spectacle for everyone at the ground and here's hoping the two legends entertain us with a few more glittering performances.Published 04 Aug 2019, 14:24 IST