Ten years ago this day, April 2, 2011, India outclassed Sri Lanka to claim their second ODI World Cup title.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni sealed the famous win in grand style as he hit Nuwan Kulasekara over long-on for a six at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on April 2, 2011.
India, powered by scintillating knocks from Gautam Gambhir (97) and Dhoni (91 not out), chased down Sri Lanka’s 274 for 6 in 50 overs to win with ten balls to spare.
The victory gave India its second world title — 28 years after Kapil’s Devils scored that famous win at Lord’s on June 25, 1983 — and exorcised the ghosts of the Caribbean debacle four years earlier when India were knocked out of the first round in the 2007 World Cup.
It also made up for the disappointment of having come up second best to the Australians in the 2003 final in South Africa.
India were the clear favourites going into the tournament and the Indians continued their good form in the World Cup, losing just one match — against South Africa in the group stages.
India’s most famous victory came against Pakistan in the semi-final in Mohali after they had got the better of defending champions Australia in the quarters.
In the final after being set 275 for victory, India’s chase got off to a bad start as they lost Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag cheaply, with just 31 runs on the board.
Gautam Gambhir and Dhoni, who promoted himself to No 4 ahead of Yuvraj Singh, stitched a match-winning 109 run partnership.
Gambhir narrowly missed a century, but Dhoni kept his cool as he along with Yuvraj took India to a convincing six wicket win.
Dhoni’s winning six is still viewed as one of the most exciting moments in India’s sporting history.
As the six was hit back over the bowler’s head, Ravi Shastri, who was doing commentary, remarked, ‘Dhoni finishes it off in style, India lifts the World Cup after 28 years.’
As soon as the win was achieved, Tendulkar, playing his sixth World Cup, erupted with joy as his dream of winning the coveted trophy was finally fulfilled
Last year, Tendulkar’s lap around the Wankhede stadium after the 2011 World Cup win, titled ‘Carried On the Shoulders Of A Nation’, was voted the greatest Laureus Sporting Moment of the last twenty years.