India 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup Champions
The magnificent Team India kept its cool to beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in the final of the World Cup 2011 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.
Indian skipper MS Dhoni (91) hit the winning runs by swatting a huge six over the long-on boundary. Yuvraj Singh (21) also remained unbeaten with the Indian skipper at the end. Gautam Gambhir led the Indian run chase of 275 but fell three run short of his maiden World Cup century. The left-handed batsman first shared a vital 83-run stand with young Virat Kohli (35) and then got an able partner in MS Dhoni, who himself played some delightful strokes on his way to a wonderful fifty. The two batsman also shared a priceless 109-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
For Sri Lanka Lasith Malinga gave India two blows early on in their innings as the Sri Lankan pacer first trapped Virender Sehwag right in front of the wickets and then followed it up with getting Sachin Tendulkar caught behind the wickets. Sehwag took a decision review to a decision which looked pretty forward from the naked eye. And after replays from various angles, the third umpire had put a stamp on the on field umpire’s decision.
But despite losing an early wicket, Sachin Tendulkar kept sending the ball to the boundary and kept the Indian scoreboard moving, along with Gautam Gambhir.
But the master played a lose stroke on the delivery that was leaving him from left to right and gave a simple catch to Kumar Sangakkara.
Earlier, Kohli’s wicket gave Sri Lanka an opening to claw their way back in the game after the right-handed batsman, along with Gambhir, propped up India from a precarious situation. Kohli, after hitting Tillakaratne Dilshan for a boundary, was caught by the off spinner in the same over.
Thisara Perera got the other wicket that fell in the Indian innings. He bowled well-set Gambhir. In the first innings, India gave away 63 runs during the batting powerplay in the death overs as Mahela Jayawardene’s blazing century ( 103 off 88 balls) powered Sri Lanka to a challenging 274/6.
The experienced Jayawardene first played cautiously during the middle innings when Sri Lanka lost too many wickets, but he opened his shoulders once he got a more than helpful partner in the form of Nuwan Kulasekara.
Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh picked up two wickets each for the Indians, while Harbhajan Singh took one wicket after Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and elected to bat first.
It was Jayawardene’s show all the way as the seasoned campaigner kept the scoreboard ticking even when wickets were falling at the other end. The right-hander hit 13 crisp boundaries on his way to the magical figure.
Zaheer, who bowled three maidens and gave away just six runs in his first five overs, was plundered for 54 in his last five overs. Sreesanth was equally unimpressive throughout the match. He bowled in three different spells but was scored off in each one of them. He couldn’t even finish his full quota of overs and finished with eight overs for 52 runs.
Earlier, Quick wickets – Thilan Samaraweera (21) and Chamara Kapugedera (1) – gave India an opening to restrict Sri Lanka before 250 in the World Cup final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.
First Yuvraj trapped Samaraweera right in front, while Zaheer Khan deceived Kapugedera with a slower delivery. But the experienced Mahela Jayawardene kept the scoreboard ticking after Sri Lanka lost the wicket of their skipper Kumar Sangakkara (48).
Sangakkara was caught behind the wickets of the bowling of Yuvraj Singh. Jayawardene scored a well-composed fifty and always kept Sri Lanka to post a modest total. Earlier, Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene took the Sri Lankan innings forward after Harbhajan Singh gave India their second breakthrough.
The wily off-spinner clean bowled Tillakaratne Dilshan after the Sri Lankan opener threatened to take the attack to the opposition. Sangakkara and Jayawardene, both brilliant players of spin, played cautiously early on in their innings but opened their shoulders once they got their eye in.
Earlier, Zaheer got reward for the perfect line and length as the Indian bowling spearhead got the wicket of Sri Lankan opener Upul Tharanga (2), who was caught brilliantly in the slips by a diving Virender Sehwag. The left-armer bowled back-to-back maiden overs to the Lankan openers that created the pressure and ultimately the wicket fell.
Lankan skipper Sangakkara and hard-hitting Dilshan tried to cut loose after Zaheer Khan provided India the first breakthrough. But Dilshan’s wicket put the brakes on Lankan scoring. S Sreesanth, who replaced Ashish Nehra in the Indian playing eleven, supported Zaheer well initially but lost his line completely in the latter spells.
Dilshan tried to break free on some occasions but was pegged back by the superb Indian fielding. Yuvraj Singh at backward point and Suresh Raina in the covers fielded like tigers to cut the angles and prevent Sri Lanka from scoring.