April 2nd, 2011 the day which will be remembered forever by all the Indians. It’s the day when the whole nation came together to celebrate the winning moment. It is the day when the only missing glory in Sachin “THE GOD” Tendulkar’s illustrious career of 21 years has been added as yet another star to his achievements. It is the day when India recaptured the crown which was first lifted by Kapil Devils 28 years back.
This has been the second most hyped match (second only to India vs Pakistan match in Semis) of the whole tournament. So many theories and analysis have come up before the match. Some of them are:
– All the teams whose captains name started with letter “S” have lost and hence Sangakarra would not win the cup.
– The calendar of 1983 has read exactly same as 2011 calendar and hence India has all the chances to win.
– In its last three matches, India defeated the West Indies, Australia, Pakistan in the same order of their world cup victories (1979,1987,1992) and next is Srilanka’s turn(1996).
The match is also important for 2 champions of cricket. Muralidharan who is playing his last ODI and Sachin who is raring to get his 100th ton and maiden World Cup final victory.
Both the teams have been in great form in this world cup. There has been 3 batsmen from each from both teams in the top 10 batsmen in this world cup. With respect to the bowling India had slight edge over Sri Lanka in the performances in this world cup. Zaheer & Yuvi have done excellent job for India. Fielding has been strength of Srilanka and India is doing good these days because of the youngsters.
As I have said previously I am not comfortable with day and night matches in the important games as the result is almost decided and hence I was waiting for the toss to be won by India.
Ravi Shastri came out with the captains and the referee Jeff Crowe for the toss. Jeff Crowe’s presence in World Cup finals as match referee continues to cause unusual incidents. After 2007 debacle, this final also had a false start.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni tossed the specially minted coin into the air and it was heads. Ravi announced that Dhoni won the toss. Oops wait, there is a confusion. No one heard what Sangakarra called. He claimed he called correctly while Dhoni did not accept. Then in a rather unusual decision, Crowe asked Dhoni to toss the coin again. This time, Sanga called head and got it right and elected to Bat first.
Jeff Goof up
I was shocked with the way toss went. What was he doing? His job was simple. Just listen to the call, see the coin and announce who won the toss. If the crowd is too noisy and couldn’t hear the call, then step in ASAP. If coin is about to hit the ground and couldn’t heard the call yet, then best thing would be to immediately should out “dead toss.” Pick-up the coin and have the captains do it again.
First Power Play
Zaheer Khan started off with a maiden and went on to bowl three consecutive maidens. Sreesanth who was a surprise pick by Dhoni did a decent job in containing runs while the likes of Dilshan and Tharanga were batting. Zaheer’s fourth over started off in style by picking up his first wicket of the match and 20th wicket of the tournament. It was a Good start for India. Sreesanth was extremely nervous, but was successful in keeping his emotions in control.
Dilshan, the most devastating batsman for Srilanka just threw his wicket for a very poor ball down the leg-side. The partnership between Dilshan and Sangakarra looked good and India got the breakthrough at the right moment.
Jayawardene came to the crease determined and started off playing shots very fluently right from ball one. He and Sangakarra started scoring at good rate and the runs were coming easily. If this partnership went on further then it would have been quite hard for India to come back into the game.
Indian team was successful in getting wicket of Sangakarra and a successful review against Samaraweera and a cheap wicket of Kapudegara. India seemed in a good position at the end of 40 where the scorecard read 183/5 which was much less than 5 run rate.
Last 10 overs
We all thought that two quick wickets have kept India on top and Srilanka can be restricted to 230. But Kulasekara who came ahead of Parera joined hands with Jayawardene and hit 63 runs in the batting power play. After Kulasekara did his job sacrificed his wicket Parera pitched in and scored the last useful runs.
Jayawardene who played very well right from start went on to finish his third century in world cups. Srilanka made a very very competitive score of 274 for the loss of 6 wickets. Zaheer Khan who gave just 17 runs in first 7 overs went ended up as 10-3-60-2.
275 is never an easy target in a World Cup final and its a Huge challenge up for India. With the last 63 runs in the batting power play it was a massive momentum shift Sri Lanka’s way. India should open positively and Sehwag and Sachin in the top order has to fire.
0.2 overs, 0/1
There was lot of talk in commentary box focused mainly on the importance of Sehwag’s cameo up front. Everyone was expecting at least a quick 50 of 30 or 40 balls. The whole stadium fell silent when Malinga sent Sehwag back to dressing room in the second ball of the innings with out any score on the board. That means India has to start fresh with out Sehwag and 9 wickets in hand. A dream start for Sri Lanka.
Sehwag being an important wicket asked for review with no success. He was not sure neither was Sachin that it was not out but just because he was an important player and it was Key for him to fire at the top, he took the liberty and wasted the review without even consulting Sachin who was watching from the other end.
Sachin Finishes 2nd highest runscorer
Now the whole nation looks at Sachin to score something big and save India. Sachin looked very confident and fans cheered him a lot for each run he has scored. The confidence with which he was playing, I thought he was determined to reach his century. On the other side Gambhir also looked confident. 7th over first ball, Malinga picks up his second and its none other than Sachin.
A nation falls silent. I am pretty sure that not only stadium but people watching the match around the world fell silent at this moment.
There was a time when Indians used to switch off their TVs once Sachin is out. Today was a bit similar situation as India lost the opening pair cheaply. Infact I and my friends wanted to leave but just had a small faith on the new young guns of India.
It was time for Gambhir and Kohli to play responsible innings and guide India to a decent score and out of the pressure situation that they are in right now. Throughout the series both have not done any extra ordinary job and this was time for them to prove the point.
Both played really well taking singles and hitting the loose balls for boundaries. They gave their 100% to the game.They were able to take off the pressure that India had after looking the first two wickets. It was in 22nd over that Dilshan has taken a splendid catch (May be one of the best catches of the world cup) to dismiss Kohli. No complains on Kohli as he was out for a good ball and a great catch. But there was one point to be noted here that Sangakarra might have made a mistake in not bringing Malinga or Murali while this partnership was building.
Dhoni – The Super Cool
With three batsman still to come, India almost has the game back at level-pegging now as the scorecard showed 115/3 in 22 overs.
Everyone was waiting for Yuvi the consistent performer of the world cup to come and show some heroics to take the game home from here. But to everyone’s surprise Dhoni comes in ahead of Yuvraj. This was unexpected but a brave decision from Dhoni. He has not performed even in a single match in this tournament and hence everyone were skeptic with this move. I thought if he performs well and takes India to victory then he would be a lucky bastard yet again to perform at the right time and get the required attention and applause from everyone.
Gambhir and Dhoni player very sensibly making no mistakes and building the partnership. They both have hit the half centuries and got a 110 run partnership. Gambhir was about to get his 100 in the world cup final and on 97 he tried a needless shot and threw his wicket. Dhoni did a great job in guiding his team to understand the situation of the game and play accordingly. Now on the pitch Dhoni have been warning Gambhir for his careless and needless shots. But at the end its on the individual to have that control. Gambhir misses his century.
Dhoni & Yuvi takes us home
Now India was in a very strong position with needing just 52 runs from 52 balls and having wickets of Dhoni, Yuvi & Raina. The situation for India was very comfortable and everyone were confident that they would win unless if we see some stupidity like Gambhir. But nothing happened like that. Dhoni & Yuvi carried on their innings till the end.
Well maybe fairy-tale endings do happen in real life. Dhoni finishes the tournament in style with his second six of the innings. It’s hard to script it better. A captain’s knock when it was needed most.
Indians in the whole world erupt in joy. India has won the World cup after 28 long years and Sachin has been part of it. What else can any Indian cricket fan ask for.
Greatest Captain for India
Dhoni has now become the greatest captain for India by taking the team to pinnacle in all formats of the game. He won the T20 World Cup & ODI World Cup in first attempt. He has taken the side to No. 1 in test and ODI rankings. Not to forget he is currently the holder of both the IPL and the Champions Trophy. Today I have become a big fan of Dhoni.
Emotional Scenes around
As the six came of Dhoni’s bat the whole dressing room started off jumping and running on to the field. The whole team was in tears of joy. Everyone in the team were congratulating & hugging each other. Indians all around the world were congratulating each other. It was the moment which will be written in the history books and remain in the hearts for ever.
Sachin was then carried for a victory run by the youngsters. It was an emotional scene to watch as the youngsters were fighting to get a chance to carry the GOD on their shoulders. My eyes were moist after seeing this. After the victory it was great to hear that all the players were showing the respect to the GOD by announcing that they have won this cup for him.
Indian teams victory would not have been possible with out Gary. Players know that and hence showed their respect to the coach by taking a victory lap carrying him.
Medals to all the officials.
Medals to the losing team. Nice speech from the loosing captain.
Man of the match award to Dhoni
Man of the series award to Yuvraj Singh.
Medals to all the Indian players.
BCCI announced 1 crore to each player of Indian team.
Indian team everywhere in the news.
Lunch with the President and Dhoni with a new super cool look.
Just like the India vs Pakistan match, even this match had the dignitaries from different fields come together to cheer team India. Below are some of them whom I was able to spot.
Saif Ali Khan
Aamir Khan with his wife Kiron
Soha Ali Khan
And India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani