Vijay Hazare Trophy 2018-19: Yuvraj Singh heroics hand Punjab their 4th win in their last game
Yuvraj Singh, who is fighting for a place in the national side for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup, was again instrumental in winning his team yet another match. Yuvraj scored 264 runs in 7 innings during the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy at an average of just under 40 and a strike rate of 81.48.
Despite winning most of their completed matches, Punjab could not make it to the quarter-finals, thanks to a neck-tight format. They were also unlucky as two of their matches were rained out, one after scoring 359 and restricting the opposition Goa to 46 for 2 in 10 overs. In six innings before this one, Yuvraj's match-winning knocks of 41, 48 and 96 kept Punjab in the hunt for the quarterfinals. He hit 23 fours and 9 sixes in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Yuvraj Singh has been playing domestic cricket for the last two seasons following his ousting from the national team. While his prime motivation is winning another World Cup for India, he is most likely to retire following the tournament's 2019 edition. Yuvraj, who was diagnosed with cancer after his man-of-the-tournament performance during the 2011 World Cup, made a great comeback to the national side and continued to be a match-winner.
In his most recent major tournament for India - the 2017 Champions Trophy - Yuvraj was one of India's top performers, winning the Man of the match award in India's opening game against Pakistan, who beat India in the final. He was rested after the following ODI series against the West Indies and has not been able to make it back to the Indian side thereafter.
In today's match, Yuvraj took the wicket of Samarth R of Karnataka, to end an opening partnership of 115 with BR Sharath. This led to a collapse, and Karnataka lost all their ten wickets in a space of 181 runs. He anchored Punjab's innings after they lost their first wicket with 99 runs remaining.
Though Punjab lost two more wickets with Yuvraj still at the crease, he lost his wicket after the scores were levelled - leaving his team with just one run to win. Punjab won the match, and Yuvraj's innings consisted of 2 fours and 2 sixes.
Yuvraj would have more opportunities to prove his mettle during the upcoming Ranji Trophy season that begins on November 11, and would also be available for the domestic T20 tournaments that follow. He would also be available for national selection, in case the team wants to have a look at their most experienced batsman after the middle order's continued failure in the ODI format.
Just like his good friend Chris Gayle, who ended his List A career for Jamaica with a match-winning century yesterday, Yuvraj too ensured his team a victory in what might be his last 50-over match for his state team. Both the cricketers, who have been representing their national sides for over 18 years now, would hope that they end on a high after representing their respective countries in next year's World Cup.