India won the ICC World Cup 2011 by beating Sri Lanka by 6 wickets
On this day in 2011, Dhoni’s men achieved a long pending dream which every Indian cricket fan has been waiting for from the last 28 long years. India won the ODI World Cup 2011 by beating the Lankan lions by six wickets at Wankhede, Mumbai. The triumph was one of the biggest in Indian cricket history which has been etched into our memories for the whole lifetime. India won the first World Cup in 1983 under the captaincy of the great Kapil Dev by defeating an invincible West Indian team by 43 runs. During those days, Windies team was considered as the best cricket team in the whole world which has names like Greenidge, Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd, Malcolm Marshall, Andy Roberts and Michael Holding in their ranks.
Similarly, the boys in blue ended the long reign of the mighty Australians who was on a rampage after winning the World title thrice at a stretch (1999, 2003 and 2007). India overcame the Aussie challenge in the quarterfinals and then defeated the arch-nemesis Pakistan in semi-finals and finally get past the Sri Lankan hurdle in the final of the ICC World Cup 2011.
Sri Lankan skipper, Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and elected to bat first on a batting beauty at Wankhede. Mahela Jayawardene played a struck a wonderful century under pressure and scored 103 off 88 balls to help Lankan to post a target of 274 at the end of 50 overs. Dilshan, Sangakkara, and Kulasekara also made useful contributions with the bat of 33, 48 and 32 respectively to swell up the Lankan total. Indian bowling spearhead Zaheer Khan grabbed two important wickets of Tharanga and Kapugedara at crucial moments, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh also played his part by picking up 1 and 2 wickets each.
The Indian chase got off to a bad start as Virender Sehwag got leg before wicket off the second ball of the Indian innings of a Lasith Malinga delivery. Later, Sachin Tendulkar also started his long walk back to the pavilion after getting dismissed at the score of 18 by Malinga again. Probably that started the turnaround for Indian side when Gautam Gambhir along with Virat Kohli knitted a vital partnership of 83 to settle down the proceedings for Indians. But after the dismissal of Virat, Dhoni promoted himself ahead of Yuvraj Singh that proved out to be a master-stroke at the end. Dhoni and Gambhir conjured up a match-winning partnership of 109 runs. Gambhir was unlucky to miss out on a century as he got out on the score of 97. However, Dhoni made sure that there will be no more hiccups on the road to victory for India as he scored 91* off 79 balls that included 8 fours and 2 sixes. India won the game by six wickets and ten balls to spare. Yuvraj Singh was named the man of the tournament for his all-round effort with bat and ball.
Those were the moments of real proud and sheer joy for every Indian cricket lover whose dream of becoming World Champions has come alive after a long wait. Although, it was worth it!