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PHOTOS: When India beat Pakistan and brought the WT20 Cup home!

March 14, 2014 08:56 IST

PHOTOS: When India beat Pakistan and brought the WT20 Cup home

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Pakistan went into the last over needing 13 runs for victory, with only one wicket left. Then Mahendra Singh Dhoni came up with a surprise, wresting faith in young Joginder Sharma to deliver.

Rewind through Team India’s thrilling triumph in the inaugural WT20 final that night in Johannesburg.

 

A very special night in Indian cricket history. Only the 1983 World Cup win is more precious.

Twenty four-years after Kapil Dev lifted the Prudential World Cup at Lord’s, a newly-appointed skipper did the seemingly improbable.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s inspirational leadership guided India to a memorable triumph at the inaugural World Twenty20 Championship in South Africa in 2007.

That final held more relevance because the opponent was arch-rival Pakistan.

However, India has failed to repeat that showing in subsequent editions of the tournament.

With the fifth edition of the tournament set to commence on Sunday, Rediff.com takes you through Team India’s thrilling triumph in the final that night in Johannesburg.

- Scorecard

It was a flat wicket at the Bullring in Johannesburg, and after Mahendra Singh Dhoni called right at the toss, India openers Gautam Gambhir and Yusuf Pathan were set to light up the stadium with their batting fireworks.

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Image: The Indian team celebrates with the trophy after winning the World Twenty20 Championship final against Pakistan at The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on September 24, 2007
Photographs: Tom Shaw/Getty Images

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Pathan had opened the innings that day as regular opener Virender Sehwag had to sit out due to a groin injury.

He and Gambhir made their intentions clear at the outset.

Yusuf clobbered Mohammad Asif for a huge six in the first over as India gathered 13 runs from it.

At the other end, Gambhir batted beautifully while Yusuf tried to go for the big shots.

In Asif’s second over, Yusuf square drove the bowler for a boundary. However, Asif had his revenge by dismissing him on the next ball, the Indian top-edging a pull shot for Shoaib Malik to take the skier at mid-on.

Yusuf scored 15 off eight balls.

Next in was Robin Uthappa.

The Karnataka batsman failed to fire and lasted just 11 balls. Trying to slam one over cover off Sohail Tanvir, he mistimed the shot and was caught by Shahid Afridi at cover for 8. India: 40-2 after 5.4 overs.

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Image: Sohail Tanveer is congratulated by his Pakistan teammates after taking the wicket of Robin Uthappa
Photographs: Tom Shaw/Getty Images

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PHOTOS: When India beat Pakistan and brought the WT20 Cup home

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Even Yuvraj Singh and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who played a huge part in getting India to the final, failed to deliver when it mattered.

Yuvraj played a subdued innings, scoring just 14 off 19 deliveries. He smashed just one boundary before top-edging Umar Gul for the bowler to take an easy return catch in the 14th over.

Two overs later, Dhoni was done in by some aggressive bowling by Gul and India was reduced to 111 for 4 after 15.2 over.

Gul was 'no-balled' for a beamer on the first ball. Nevertheless, he still followed it up with another short delivery. Then, on the third ball, Dhoni went for a big heave, missed, and his leg stump went flying to the delight of the Pakistan side.

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Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni is bowled by Umar Gul
Photographs: Tom Shaw/Getty Images

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PHOTOS: When India beat Pakistan and brought the WT20 Cup home

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Gul’s double strike left India in deep trouble.

But Gambhir, despite losing partners, held firm at one end.

He scored his third half-century of the tournament, even as India could not capitalise on a reasonably good start.

The left-hander batted through the first 18 overs, stroking eight boundaries and two sixes. He needed only 54 balls for his fluent knock of 75, picking boundaries with the pull and cut with relish even as Pakistan’s tight bowling and fielding kept the Indians in check.

In the closing overs young Rohit Sharma took matters into his hands and clobbered runs all over the park.

He scored 30 not out off 16 balls to take India to 157 for five in their 20 overs.

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Image: Gautam Gambhir en route his half-century
Photographs: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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With a total of nearly 160 to defend, there was a fifty-fifty chance of the match going either way.

India’s bowlers knew they had an uphill task and opening bowler R P Singh’s early double strike in successive overs put the team on the right track.

He first dismissed Mohammad Hafeez for 1 in the first over (2-1, 0.5 overs) and then sent Kamran Akmal back to the hut for a duck.

Pakistan were 26 for 2 after 2.3 overs.

At the other end, Shantakumaran Sreesanth, India’s other opening bowler, was smashed all over the park by a fired-up Imran Nazir, who hammered him for two sixes and two fours in his first over.

But a piece of inpired fielding from Uthappa plunged Pakistan in further trouble.

Nazir (33 off 14 deliveries), was run-out after Uthappa’s direct throw from mid-wicket found the batsman inches short of his crease.

Pakistan: 53-3 off 5.4 overs.

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Image: RP Singh celebrates the wicket of Mohammad Hafeez
Photographs: Tom Shaw/Getty Images

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PHOTOS: When India beat Pakistan and brought the WT20 Cup home

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From here on, Irfan Pathan took the game by storm to emerge the wrecker-in-chief.

He dented Pakistan’s middle-order by dismissing captain Shoaib Malik (8) and big-hitter Afridi (0) within a space of three deliveries.

At 78 for 6 after 12 overs, Pakistan needed 80 runs off 48 balls, at 10 runs per over, with just four wickets in hand.

Then, a 21-run over from Sreesanth again swung the game towards Pakistan.

But Irfan soon dismissed Yaseer Arafat, making the task even bigger for Pakistan.

With Pakistan needing 53 from 24 balls, Misbah-ul-Haq led a late charge to add drama to the contest.

He first hit three sixes off Harbhajan Singh in one over and later dispatched Sreesanth for two sixes in the penultimate one, to set up a thrilling finish.

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Image: Irfan Pathan celebrates the wicket of Yasir Arafat
Photographs: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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PHOTOS: When India beat Pakistan and brought the WT20 Cup home

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The match stayed true to the famous saying, ‘It is not over till the last ball is bowled’.

Pakistan went into the last over needing 13 runs for victory, with only one wicket left.

Dhoni pulled out a surprise, a gamble nearly, as he wrested faith in young Joginder Sharma to deliver.

Joginder, who was clearly overawed by the enormity of the occasion, started with a wide and followed it with a dot ball.

Then, the next delivery went sailing into the sight-screen as Misbah hit his fourth six that drove India to despair.

Now, with just six needed off four balls, it looked all over for India with Misbah on the rampage.

However, Dhoni’s gamble paid off as Misbah (44 off 38 balls) attempted a paddle-scoop off the next delivery over fine leg. The ball flew high and Sreesanth, at short fine-leg, made no mistake with the catch.

Pakistan were all out for 152! The Indians were celebrating.

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Image: Misbah-ul-Haq in action in the final
Photographs: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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PHOTOS: When the World T20 Cup came home!

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Irfan Pathan was declared Man-of-the-match for his impressive figures of 3 for 16, but Joginder Singh will forever be remembered for bowling that match-winning last over.

The match will also be etched as one of India’s finest moments in cricketing history, for it was not individual brilliance, but team work that saw India triumph.


Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni is ecstatic as India's players celebrate after winning the final
Photographs: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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