Agence India Press
Mumbai: India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in a pulsating final to deliver World Cup glory to their cricket-mad population for the first time since 1983.
After twenty-eight years Kapil’s Devils brought the cup home, another generation – Dhoni’s Daredevils – has done it again. Yuvraj Singh has been selected as the Player of the Tournament.
This innings began with heartbreak. Much drama later it has ended with tears of joy. Dhoni played a Captain’s knock just when all of India needed one from him. India’s arguably most successful Captain ever has brought in another prize.
Dhoni has completed 6000 runs in one day internationals. Indubitably, he would count the runs he has scored today as some of the most important of those. He walked in with India in a pressure situation, with all of India demanding a captain’s knock, and acutely aware that he had not performed at all with the bat in the World Cup 2011.
Along with partner Gautam Gambhir, the skipper kept the score ticking after the departure of Virat Kohli, brilliantly caught and bowled by Tillakaratne Dilshan for 35 when India were 114. But, there was heartbreak when Gambhir departed for 97, a mature knock that came when needed most. He was bowled by Thisara Perera and India were 223 for 4. Yuvraj Singh, who has scripted several India wins in this tournament, is out to bat.
Kohli’s was the third Indian wicket to fall and Dhoni came in to bat ahead of Yuvraj Singh keeping a right-left batting combination going, put his head down to play responsibly with left-handed Gambhir, who got his fourth 50 of the tournament.
The two have took India’s score across the 200 mark and not only managed to keep adding to the score with some great shots, but also put the Lankan fielders to test, forcing them to make mistakes and allow the extra run.
Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara has constantly experimented with changes in bowling, but even the mighty Muttiah Muralitharan, playing his last international match and fairly economical, has failed to make a dent.
The India innings began with a deafening silence. And if the roaring stadium went quiet when Virender Sehwag fell LBW second ball to Lasith Malinga, it was fairly funereal when local boy Sachin Tendulkar was out after scoring an exquisite 18 runs. Sachin edged one to skipper-wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara. Strike two for Lasith Malinga. (AIP)
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