On This Day
On This Day: India won the World Cup after 28 years
By B Dixit - Apr 2, 2018 4:21 am
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Exactly seven years ago, during the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 between India and Sri Lanka at Mumbai, India beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets to win their second World Cup title. Having won the prestigious title in 1983 under Kapil Dev, the Indian team finally ended its 28-year wait for the title.

Kumar Sangakkara, the then Sri Lankan captain, had won the toss and chose to bat. For India, Zaheer Khan took the new ball and bowled three maiden overs on the trot. On the first delivery of his fourth over, he finally dismissed Upul Tharanga (2). Tillakaratne Dilshan (33) and Sangakkara (48) provided good starts to Sri Lanka but failed to convert them into substantial innings.

Jayawardene scored his 14th ODI century.

Mahela Jayawardene, who came in to bat at No. 4, rose to the occasion in the big final. An innings filled with elegance and intelligence, he completed his half-century with a sweep off Yuvraj Singh in the 34th over. Jayawardene stitched crucial partnerships with Sangakkara (62), Thilan Samaraweera (57) and Nuwan Kulasekara (66), which also depicts that wickets kept falling around him.

He stood tall when Sri Lanka needed him the most, i.e., during the slog overs. In the last 10 overs, Sri Lanka, led by Jayawardene, scored a vital 91 runs. He ended up scoring his 14th ODI century, 103* (88), with the help of 13 fours as Sri Lanka reached to 274-6 by the end of their innings. With bowling figures of 10-0-49-2, Yuvraj Singh was the pick of the Indian bowlers.

Chasing 275 runs to win the cup, India did not get off to the best of starts. By the seventh over, the home had lost its opening pair of Virender Sehwag (0) and Sachin Tendulkar (18) to Lasith Malinga. It was at this point in time that Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli did not seem to take any sort of pressure. Perhaps, the duo treated it as just another chase, keeping the importance of the occasion out of mind.

When Gambhir spooned a Suraj Randiv delivery to Nuwan Kulasekara at long-off, the Indians had their heart in their mouth for a moment. However, watching Kulasekara spilling the catch came as a great reprieve for the home crowd. Barring that, Gambhir was exceptional on the given day.

Dhoni was adjourned the ‘Man of the Match’.

When Kohli (35) got out to Dilshan in the 22nd over, India still required 161 runs to win from 170 balls. To the surprise of many Indians, Dhoni had walked in at No. 5, ahead of Yuvraj Singh, who was in the middle of a sensational tournament. But Dhoni’s decision did not backfire as Gambhir (97) and Dhoni stitched a match-winning 109-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

With India requiring 52 runs off as many deliveries to win the match, Yuvraj eventually came out to bat at No. 6. With India having the upper hand on the chase and the trophy, the match went down to the penultimate over. It was only when Dhoni (91*) hit that historic six over long-on off Kulasekara that Indians jumped in joy of winning the World Cup.