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Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight - Yuvraj Singh vs Arjun Ranatunga

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Friday Fights - December 18 edition

SportsCafe

Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight - Yuvraj Singh vs Arjun Ranatunga

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Bastab K Parida

12/18/2020

Asian Cricket has been an art of subtlety, although later it gets pronounced more than its usual depth. Yuvraj Singh and Arjun Ranatunga mightn’t have crossed paths as cricketers but the uncanny similarity that the duo possesses was never talked about as much as it should have.

Can we dive in? Because hey, the Friday Fights are the ultimate source of determining the legacy and who stamps ahead in the most definitive way possible. Let’s not waste a moment and get ready to witness the rumble between the two superstars. 

ROUND 1 -> CAREER AVERAGE: Yuvi’s light punch floors Ranatunga!

36.55 goes up against 35.85. Close numbers but it is Yuvi who holds on, narrowly! The legendary Lankan punches hard in front of Yuvi but you know numbers are cruel in that way. The Indian goes 1-up and we are away. 

Yuvraj - 10  Ranatunga - 9

ROUND 2 -> AVERAGE IN FOREIGN CONDITIONS: Too heavy for the Lankan maestro!

In the second round, AR tried to negate the impact but alas. The Punjab southpaw had played some of the finest innings by an Indian in overseas conditions - be it that knock against Australia in Nairobi or the Natwest final knock or be it that fluent century in Australia, Yuvraj had them plenty. The Sri Lankan was not too far behind but with 33.22, we know, a point was snatched right under his nose. 

Yuvraj -  10 Ranatunga - 9

ROUND 3 -> AVERAGE IN HOME CONDITIONS: Back with a bang!

This is the kind of fightback you’d expect from one of the greatest characters in the sport. Arjuna Ranatunga was a superstar and not only led his side to a World Cup win at home but also led with the bat effervescently. His average of 46.54 stands as a testimony to the fact, which, if compared to Yuvi’s 41.64, is lightyears ahead. That is a three-point difference, ladies and gentlemen!

Yuvraj - 7  Ranatunga - 10

ROUND 4 -> AVERAGE IN NEUTRAL VENUES: Two in Two for Arjuna!

What an absolute legend Arjuna Ranatunga was when pushed to the brink! In neutral venues, he was terrific too, with his average of 33.82 being way ahead of Yuvraj’s 30.86. You expect such things to be the eventual differentiator and Yuvi needs to mend ways before it is too late but as it looks AR might be running away. 

Yuvraj - 8  Ranatunga - 10 

ROUND 5 -> STRIKE RATE: No surprises here!

The result in this round is more cognizant of the era they played and there is literally no surprises there. Yuvi’s SR of 87.67 was in a way fair enough but kudos to Ranatunga for hitting it at 77.9 which was fairly high in the era he batted in. That pushes me in the direction of having a relative point with Yuvi leading just by a point in this round.

Yuvraj - 10  Ranatunga - 9

ROUND 6-> STRIKE RATE IN SUCCESSFUL CHASES: Yuvi snatches yet another round!

You might think we should have given it to Ranatunga for he still managed a strike rate of 81.78 in successful chases, which was only two lesser than Yuvi, and you are not wrong. A game as close as this deserves this with both securing a 10-pointer. Jeez, this is turning out to be some game!

Yuvraj -  10 Ranatunga - 10

ROUND 7 -> PERCENTAGE OF FIFTIES IN WINNING CAUSES: Comeback for Yuvi and how!

This is a fantastic return punch from the Punjab boy who took the ring by storm, just like he did when arrived on the stage a couple of decades ago. But what do you call his 75% of 50s resulting in a win for Team India as compared to the sinister number of 59.18 by the Lankan legend! Terrific, I would say and a master of winning games. 

Yuvraj - 10  Ranatunga - 7

Round 8 -> NUMBER OF FIFTY-PLUS SCORES IN SUCCESSFUL CHASES: YUVI ON A SPREE!

This is the fourth consecutive round Yuvi hits a perfect 10 and looking at the previous rounds, you would’ve understood why that’s the case. With 24 50+ scores in successful chases, the Indian pushed the Colombo king by quite some miles. You see a 10 difference deserves a three-pointer lead, doesn’t it?

Yuvraj - 10 Ranatunga - 7

ROUND 9-> 50 TO 100 CONVERSIONS (in %): Knocked Down!

What a way to finish it off! Yuvraj Singh had his noses up all this while and it was just fair that he knocked the great Ceylon star down to wrap things off. In 50 to 100 conversions, the Indian, with 21.21% to his name, played to his potential but the Lankan could not even get to a double-figure percentile. Four-point difference and that brings us to the end of the fight.

Yuvraj - 10  Ranatunga - 6

WINNER BY UNANIMOUS DECISION: YUVRAJ SINGH

FINAL SCORE: YUVRAJ SINGH 85 - 77 ARJUNA RANATUNGA

What an absolute monster of a fight we just had! No one really gave up but Yuvraj just was a tad better. He kept his calm and decided to seize those moments which could’ve gone either way. But the beauty of Friday Fights is the sanity it provides at the end of it and Yuvraj would really be proud of his achievement. 

We’ll be back again in seven days of time but till then, have fun and enjoy our other segments!

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