For a man who had played no competitive cricket in four months, Yuvraj Singh acquitted himself disturbingly well at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.
Rusty at first and cautious through the middle, Yuvraj concluded his innings a rampant blur, having whacked an 80-ball hundred as India ‘A’ overwhelmed the West Indies ‘A’ in the first one-day game of the series.
Chasing an imposing 312, the visitor fell 77 runs short, only Narsingh Deonarine and Ashley Nurse offering any resistance.
In the morning, a wet outfield delayed proceedings by two hours and reduced the contest to 42 overs-a-side as the West Indies ‘A’ invited the host to bat.
Robin Uthappa’s exit was followed, first, by a loud roar, and then by Yuvraj.
At first, the skipper yielded centre-stage to Mandeep Singh, who, gratuitously dropped on 20, went on to make 67 as India ‘A’ recovered from a sluggish start.
Yuvraj — having taken 39 balls for his first boundary — then moved swiftly through the gears.
A crowd of over 2,000 cheered as he unfurled a trademark pull off Ronsford Beaton, three sixes off Nikita Miller in the 35th over, and an imperious strike over long-off to raise his century.
Yuvraj eventually fell for 123 (89b, 8x4, 7x6), having made 56 off his last 19 balls.
At the other end, Yusuf Pathan had gone berserk, clobbering six sixes in an unbeaten 70 (32b), as the captain and he added 125 runs in only 9.1 overs to guide India 'A' to a mountainous score.
The scores: India ‘A’: Robin Uthappa c Cummins b Russell 23 (37b, 2x4), Unmukt Chand c Thomas b Cummins 1 (10b), Mandeep Singh b Miller 67 (78b, 7x4, 1x6), Yuvraj Singh c Beaton b Bonner 123 (89b, 8x4, 7x6), Yusuf Pathan (not out) 70 (32b, 4x4, 6x6), Naman Ojha (not out) 10 (8b, 1x4); Extras (lb-3, w-13, nb-2): 18; Total (for four wickets in 42 overs): 312.
Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-47, 3-147, 4-272.
West Indies ‘A’ bowling: Miguel Cummins 9-1-50-1, Ronsford Beaton 8-0-72-0, Andre Russell 4-0-17-1, Nikita Miller 9-0-62-1, Ashley Nurse 6-0-58-0, Narsingh Deonarine 4-0-20-0, Nkrumah Bonner 2-0-30-1.
West Indies ‘A’: Nkrumah Bonner c Ojha b Vinay 16 (15b, 4x4), Kieran Powell c Narwal b Vinay 17 (16b, 3x4), Kirk Edwards c Ojha b Narwal 19 (23b, 3x4), Narsingh Deonarine c Mandeep b Rahul 57 (63b, 6x4, 1x6), Andre Fletcher c Chand b Yusuf 29 (33b, 2x4, 1x6), Devon Thomas lbw b Yusuf 10 (9b, 1x4), Andre Russell run out 1 (3b), Ashley Nurse c Ojha b Narwal 57 (50b, 6x4, 2x6), Nikita Miller c & b Rahul 2 (3b), Ronsford Beaton hit wicket b Unadkat 15 (18b, 1x6), Miguel Cummins (not out) 4 (3b, 1x4); Extras (lb-3, nb-1, w-4): 8; Total (in 39.1 overs): 235.
Fall of wickets: 1-24, 2-47, 3-58, 4-112, 5-139, 6-140, 7-176, 8-181, 9-205.
India ‘A’ bowling: Jaidev Unadkat 6-0-41-1, Sumit Narwal 6.1-0-28-2, Vinay Kumar 7-0-42-2, Rahul Sharma 9-0-57-2, Yusuf Pathan 7-0-47-2, Yuvraj Singh 4-0-17-0.