Ton-up Yuvraj stars for Rest of the World against MCC
India’s Yuvraj Singh (left) -- playing for the Rest of the World team -- shakes hands with Sachin Tendulkar, the captain of the Marylebone Cricket Club during a bicentenary match at Lords Cricket Ground in London, on July 5, 2014 - by Ian Kington
In a fixture celebrating the 200th anniversary of the current Lord's ground, Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal took four wickets for five runs in 15 balls as the Rest of the World collapsed to 68 for five in 12 overs.
But Indian left-hander Yuvraj's blistering 132 off 134 balls, including six sixes and eight fours, turned the tide.
Together with former England all-rounder Paul Collingwood (40), he repaired the early damage with a sixth-wicket stand of 131.
Rest of the World captain Shane Warne, though, was ruled out of the remainder of the match when he suffered a suspected broken hand after being struck by an accidental beamer bowled by fast bowler Brett Lee, his former Australia team-mate, while batting towards the end of the innings.
Dynamic openers Adam Gilchrist and Virender Sehwag got the Rest of the World off to a brisk start with a stand of 54 inside seven overs after Warne won the toss.
Lee made the initial breakthrough by clean-bowling Sehwag for 22.
Ajmal -- one of the active as opposed to retired first-class cricketers taking part in this match -- then took over on his way to final figures of four for 45 in 10 overs.
Fresh from his 12-wicket haul in a County Championship match for Worcestershire last week, Ajmal had Gilchrist (29) smartly stumped by Nottinghamshire and ex-England wicketkeeper Chris Read.
Tamim Iqbal was then then lbw before Kevin Pietersen, controversially axed by England after their 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia, misread Ajmal's 'doosra' and was stumped for 10.
Shahid Afridi, lingering on the back foot, was then bowled by his fellow- Pakistani's quicker off-spin delivery.
It was a fine display but, with many spectators having paid to watch the batsmen on both sides, MCC captain Sachin Tendulkar removed Ajmal from the attack after a remarkable spell of four wickets for nine runs in four overs.
- Dropped -
Yuvraj revived the innings by sweeping sixes off both part-time spinner Aaron Finch and New Zealand veteran left-armer Daniel Vettori, with MCC's attack hampered by Pakistani seamer Umar Gul going off injured after bowling just two overs.
Ajmal, however, could have had a wicket with his first ball back when Collingwood, on 29, top-edged a slog-sweep only for substitute fielder Jordan Price to drop the seemingly simple catch.
Next ball Yuvraj, on 68, cut at Ajmal but Read could not hold the tough chance.
However, Collingwood was eventually out when he cut hard at Lee, and Dravid, who holds the all-time Test record for most catches by an outfielder, made light of a difficult chance in the gully.
Tendulkar -- the one player above all others they had come to see -- brought himself on to bowl his leg-spinners.
But soon afterwards Yuvraj pulled a Tendulkar long-hop for four to reach his hundred.
Yuvraj, now only considered by India for Twenty20 internationals, then stylishly lofted Lee for a huge six over midwicket before his innings ended when he holed out off Tendulkar.