On this day nine years ago, India lifted their second World Cup and first after a huge gap of 28 years. MS Dhoni sealed the historic win for India with that iconic six over long on as the Men in Blue won the final by six wickets in front of a jam-packed Wankhede crowd.
MS Dhoni and his teammates were under immense pressure to end the cricket-obsessed nation’s long wait for the coveted trophy and the tournament taking place at home did not make things easier either. After all, India were up against history as no home team had won a World Cup title in the past.
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India were up against a spirited Sri Lankan team which had blown away almost every team that came in its way to the final. Sri Lanka did well with the bat, riding on a classy Mahela Jayawardene (103 not out, 88 balls, 13 fours) century to post a challenging total of 274/6.
In reply, India lost the talismanic Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag early with Lasith Malinga being the destructor-in-chief. But from thereon, every thing went India’s way as Gautam Gambhir and later MS Dhoni took charge of the innings.
Gambhir and Virat Kohli (35) steadied the ship by putting on 83 runs for the 3rd wicket before the latter lobbed a return catch to Tillakaratne Dilshan. Dhoni then took a huge gamble by promoting himself ahead of in-form Yuvraj Singh and the decision turned out to be a masterstroke.
India still needed 160 runs when Dhoni walked out to bat. The India captain had a quite World Cup till then but he turned on the heat when it mattered the most. He masterly handled Muttiah Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga and went on to score an unbeaten 91 to take India home. Gambhir, on the other hand, missed a well-deserved century by just three runs.
Here is a clip of that famous World Cup win from 2011: