Yuvraj Singh came up with a brilliant all-round display as India finally brought about cheer to their fans with a comfortable five-wicket victory over England in the first Twenty20 International in Pune on Thursday night.
Yuvraj took three wickets for 19 from his quota of four overs, as England were restricted to 157 for 6, and then blasted 38 off 21 balls to set up an easy chase, which the home team attained with 13 balls to spare.
After the humiliation in the Test series, the change in fortunes in the shortest format of the game enabled to hosts go one-up in the two-match series.
The turning point during India's chase was the eighth over, when Yuvraj launched into inexperienced left-arm spinner Danny Briggs, hitting him for 18 runs, which included two huge sixes over the deep mid-wicket region and a boundary.
Yuvraj also got another six in the 10th over, bowled by Luke Wright, before being dismissed trying to hit a fourth six.
Such was the impact of Yuvraj's innings, the other Indian batsmen did not need to do anything special to reach the target.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina chipped in with useful contributions of 24 not out and 26 respectively.
Dhoni hit Stuart Meaker for successive boundaries and then took a double to finish with flourish.
Credit should also be given to openers Gautam Gambhir and Ajinkya Rahane. They helped the hosts race to 41 within the first four overs, taking full advantage of the Powerplay.
While Gambhir hit three boundaries in his 16, Rahane hit two sixes in his 19. Although they didn't score many but they set the momentum.
The second and final T20 International between the teams is in Mumbai on Saturday.
Earlier, England were off to a blazing start, thanks to opener Alex Hales, who scored a whirlwind 56 in 35 balls, which included seven fours and two sixes.
Hales waded into new-ball bowlers Ashok Dinda and Parvinder Awana with gusto before Yuvraj applied the brakes, claiming three wickets in the space of 10 deliveries, after the visitors were put in to bat.
Coming on to bowl after England had raced to 76 for 1 in eight overs, Yuvraj made a big impact as he packed off one-down batsman Luke Wright (34 in 21 balls three fours and a six), Hales and rival captain Eoin Morgan (5) in quick succession after Ravichandran Ashwin had captured the wicket of the other opener, Michael Lumb, in his second over.
Hales and Wright put on 68 runs for the second wicket before both departed.
England's innings stuttered a bit before Jos Butler gave it the final impetus with a quick-fire, unbeaten 33 in 21 balls, including three sixes.
Bengal speedster Dinda returned for his second spell and captured two wickets in his third over, the penultimate of the innings, dismissing Samit Patel (24) and Tim Bresnan (0) to finish with two for 18 after Ashwin had conceded 15 runs in his last over.
Ashwin was carted for a six each by Patel and Jos Butler, who cracked 33 not out in 21 balls, including three sixes, two which were off Awana's last over.
Earlier, Hales - the 23-year-old Nottinghamshire opener playing his 13th T20 international and fourth against India, carted Dinda to the mid-wicket fence twice with glorious pull shots when the home side medium pacer pitched short.
Nine runs came off the first over and then after Ashwin bowled a maiden to left-handed Lumb in the second over of the innings.
Hales smashed debutant Awana with two powerful leg-side hits for four, again pulling with disdain after stepping out against the Delhi bowler to loft him to the on.
Ashwin drew first blood with his first ball of his second over when Lumb, having been quiet in his first over, tried an ill-advised cross-batted heave and was trapped right in front.
With both the medium pacers proving expensive in their opening overs, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni brought on Ravindra Jadeja only to see the left-arm spinner being crashed over long-on for a six by Hales and then pulled to long leg for a four as the score jumped at an alarming rate for the home team.
England finished the Powerplay period at 51 for 1.
Though the field was spread out, Hales and one-down batsman Luke Wright picked gaps with ease against the clueless Indian bowling attack. Chawla was hit for three fours by Wright in his first over and then the batsman smashed Virat Kohli for a straight six.
Hales then completed his 50 off just 26 balls, including seven fours and two sixes, before England placed themselves in sight of a huge total at 89 for one in 10 overs.
Yuvraj, brought on to stem the run flow, struck in his second over when he had Wright stepping out to hit an aerial shot which was taken by Rahane at long-off.
He then sent back danger man Hales and England captain Eoin Morgan in the space of four balls to stem the flow of runs.