MS Dhoni’s drives and 4 runs to win from 11 balls… A billion breaths held… Dhoni drives hard…..and before the ball clears the boundary… the nation rejoices the historical victory as India beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets in the final of ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and brought the cup home after 28 years. It was cricket at its best as both teams displayed immense mental and physical strength, but in the end the deserving team won. Skipper MS Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir batted brilliantly to steer the team to victory.
The Lankans got off to a slow start and TM Dilshan and KC Sangakkara tried to consolidate the innings but failed to do so. But the main stay of Sri Lankan middle order Mahela Jayawardene played extremely well under pressure to make an unbeaten century and took Sri Lanka to a challenging total of 274. The Indian bowlers’ just couldn’t restrain the Lankans in the final overs.
In reply, Indians got a shaky start as Malinga dismissed both Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag cheaply. Indian had a daunting task ahead of chasing 275 in the finals with the score being 32-2. But Gautam Gambhir held his nerves, played like a true champion and slowly consolidated the innings along with Virat Kohli. Just when the home team was looking to gain the edge, Kohli got out and the match was alive again. Skipper Dhoni came in at number 5 and played one of the best innings of his lifetime. Both of them kept the scoreboard ticking and cleared the ropes at regular intervals. Gautam fell short of his century by 3 runs but Dhoni could do nothing wrong tonight.
India won the match with 10 balls to spare and the roar at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai was defining. They have played their best cricket in the past 6 weeks and showed exemplary skill under pressure.