< >
CricketWorld.com, Latest Cricket News & Results
 

Cricket World Rewind: #OnThisDay - India lift the World Cup after 28 years; the party begins in Mumbai

©REUTERS
 

As Ravi Shastri spoke these iconic words on air over a pitch-perfect six by skipper MS Dhoni over long-on, India became only the third team to win the ODI World Cup twice and the first to win it at home.

Match Summary

Sri Lanka 274/6 (50)

India 277/4 (48.2)

Result - India won by 6 wickets

Player of the Match - Ms Dhoni 

Player of the Series - Yuvraj Singh

India were the favourites as the 2011 World Cup kicked off on account of good form and the advantage of playing in home conditions. By the same token, they were under pressure to go the distance under the burden of a billion dreams.

Apart from the defeat against South Africa and a tied game against England, India had a pretty decent campaign. As they defeated Australia and Pakistan in the quarters and the semis respectively, the spirits were high going into the final showdown against Sri Lanka at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.

Sri Lanka were playing their second consecutive final after being beaten by Australian by 53 runs at the ODI World Cup at Bridgetown in 2007. Muttiah Muralitharan, arguably the greatest leg-spinner of all time, was playing his last ODI and the Lankans wanted to do it for him.

For India, it was all about Sachin.

After a few setbacks for Sri Lanka, Mahela Jayawardene played one of the truly great World Cup final innings. His century set the match up, as Sri Lanka set a stiff 274-run target. India lost Sehwag for a duck in the first over in dewy conditions and it was down to Gambhir and the Master to build a platform. After hitting a couple of crisp boundaries, Tendulkar was tempted to play a drive outside the off stump by Lasith Malinga but edged it to the wicketkeeper for 18.

When Virat Kohli also fell for 18 after a key partnership with Gautam Gambhir, Dhoni promoted himself up the order to negotiate off-spinners Muralitharan, Randiv and Dilshan. Things looked bleak for India at that point with Sri Lanka squeezing their batsmen.

But, MSD kept his cool and along with Gambhir soaked up a lot of pressure as the two kept things ticking along with an occasional boundary. Unfortunately for him, Gambhir was chopped on just three runs shy of a well-deserved century in the World Cup final.

When Dhoni hit the winning six in the penultimate over, with Man of the Tournament Yuvraj Singh for company, Sachin, who had not allowed Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and a few others to move inside the dressing room through the chase, finally marched out to a full Wankhede, chanting his name.

"As we did our warm-up exercises on the pitch before the final, I could feel the buzz in Wankhede stadium, which was packed hours before the match. India were playing their most important game ever at home. No host team had won the World Cup, but one good day, and we could call ourselves world champions for the rest of our lives.

"It was only after Dhoni's shot had finally sailed over the boundary that I came out. When I ran on to the ground and embraced an emotional Yuvraj, it was impossible to control my emotions. Virat and Yusuf Pathan lifted me on their shoulders and someone gave me an Indian flag to wave. Being carried by your teammates, and waving the Tricolour at your home ground after having winning the World Cup-what more can anyone ask for?" reminisces the legend.

© Cricket World 2020